In October 2010, Waveney District Council published 'Lowestoft Lake Lothing & Outer Harbour Area Action Plan'. This was the final draft of the plan that had its origins in the 1st East Vision of Lowestoft and Yarmouth as two towns with common needs for the future. It was presented as a public consultation document to initiate the regeneration of the derlict area from which the Lowestoft's vibrant commercial maritime culture emerged in mid-Victorian times. This is a small scale example of 'New Urban Planning'which takes the view that urban regeneration projects are capable of implementing new cultural values to post-industrial areas that rarely became an arena of activities associated with purely commercial investments. There is an underlying awareness that urban development not only affects the city fabric but also destroys the vernacular built environment which houses cultural values and the collective memory of habitants. Therefore urban planners and policy makers have turned to practical ways to solve this crucial problem. The Lowestoft AAP addresses the question of how to create a balance between the new development and the old urban fabric and townscape and retrieve the collective memory of community that can be a bridge between their ancestors and coming generations.

Cultures vary largely by the focus on different areas of the cultural system. Variations between cultures are related to differences in this focus by the society. Focusing on different aspects could be explained by the tendency of different cultures to emphasize different sensory realms. Edward Hall, an anthropologist and author of The Hidden Dimension, has explored this phenomena as it relates to human perception of space. In the book he describes how different cultures experience different sensory worlds.

"people from different cultures not only speak different languages but, what is possibly more important, inhabit different sensory worlds. Selective screening of sensory data admits some things while filtering out others, so that experience as it is perceived through one set of culturally patterned sensory screens is quite different from experience perceived through another. The architectural and urban environments that people create are expressions of this filtering screening process".

An important idea in the process of cultural change through manipulation of the physical environment is the creation of structures that are 'good to think with'. This idea has been the driving force behind between architecture, ornamentation and art since the beginning of environmental planning as an intellectual excercise. It was the basis for the medieval 'cathedral movement' which presented Christian through a filtering-screening process which involved the repetitive use of columns, pointed arches and sculptural leaf motives. The secular mercantile culture of the European Renaissance came to 19th century Lowestoft with pastiches of the Italianate palazzo style, which were adopted for the railway station, town hall, and the facades of the grand terrace houses lining the sea front.

Cultural vision

Development area

Action plan boundary

Site proposals