Lowestoft 1943

From the outset of 1943 the Committee was planning the reconstruction of Lowestoft when hostilities finally ended – in fact little else seems to have been considered throughout the whole year judging by the Committee’s minutes.

Mention has already been made to the fact the whole of the Borough had been designated under the 1941 War Damage act as eligible for works of repair that cost £1,000 or ten times the nett annual value of the hereditament, which ever was less – the Borough Surveyor wanted to apply to the War Damage Commission for two areas of Lowestoft to be eligible for all works, irrespective of the cost, to ensure the fullest control of reconstruction after the War.

The Committee received a reply from the War Damage Commission on Feb 7th stating it would consider the following specifications under the War Damage Act:

  • Works Class A – of works consisting more than £1,000 or ten times the nett annual value of the hereditament, whichever is the less, to be executed for making good the war damage sustained by any one hereditament within a defined area.
  • Works Class B – similarly, or works costing more than £100 within a defined area. This form of specification is used in areas of considerable size in which damage has been widespread. Wards or parishes would provide convenient boundaries for its application, but in certain cases the areas might be defined by bounding streets.
  • Specification of areas – of a defined area, covering works of any kind to any hereditament within the area. An area specifying all works will only be applied to areas which (a) are already the subject of definite planning proposals which would be hampered by making good and (b) are so small that they can easily be defined by reference to street numbers and that individual notice can be given to the owners, by the Commission without undue strain its clerical staff.
    • As a result of this letter the Committee decided to withdraw its request for all works, irrespective of cost or nett annual value, to be withdrawn from the two areas and be considered for Class B Works instead (i.e. all works costing more than £100).

      The Committee also discussed the growing concern it and other Local Authorities had over the shortage of housing due to the enforced stoppage of housing work. This matter had been raised with the Ministry of Health which could offer no hope of new house building during the war.

      Subsequently, in a Circular dated March 4th the Ministry of Health recommended that local Authorities produce detailed plans so that a quick start could be made on housing construction when conditions permitted. Lowestoft considered its long-term housing planning as follows:

      • The provision of dwellings to meet the normal housing requirements that had been in abeyance since the outbreak of the war.
      • The provision of accommodation to replace condemned dwellings and those destroyed by enemy action.
      • The provision of dwellings to meet the normal increase in the number of families.
      • The provision of dwellings to meet the requirements of factory workers and their families consequent upon industrial expansion, for which provision is being made in the planning scheme.
        • Reference:
          Lowestoft Emergency Committee minutes, SRO

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