Cafe-bar plans approved for historic house

READY FOR CHANGE: The medieval house in Lady Street, Lavenham, which is to be turned into a cafe-bar.
READY FOR CHANGE: The medieval house in Lady Street, Lavenham, which is to be turned into a cafe-bar.

One of Lavenham’s most historic buildings is to be turned into a cafe-bar after planners agreed to the “exciting” transformation.

Proposals to convert a 15th-century house in Lady Street into a cafe, flat and guest accommodation were approved by Babergh District Council’s development committee yesterday.

The Grade I-listed property – known as the Tudor shops – is said to rank alongside the village’s Guildhall in terms of historic significance as it retains many of its original features.

It is owned by former Ipwsich Town Football Club director Holly Bellingham-Turner and her husband Simon.

Peter Beer, chairman of the development committee, said members had been happy to agree to the plans.

“It is a very exciting prospect and we were pleased it give it our support,” he said.

“I think the owners are trying to tap into a niche market and this should boost the local economy by helping to increase tourism and put the building to good use.”

Prior to the meeting, Lavenham Parish Council had recommended refusal to the plans due to a lack of parking spaces, but Mr Beer said he did not envisage this would be a problem.

“They have two spaces which is the minimum required,” he said, adding that the cafe will create four jobs.