Flats application at former Sudbury tax office site sparks town council’s objections

Sudbury town councillor Jan Osborne.
Sudbury town councillor Jan Osborne.

The latest proposal to convert the former site of the Sudbury tax office into a new block of flats has sparked further objections.

Parkland Developments has submitted plans to build up to 20 flats, as well as associated parking, garages and communal areas, on the corner of Newton Road and Belle Vue Road – the third time such a plan has been put forward for this site.

The developer first put forward a plan to construct 33 flats at the site in 2014, after several years in which the land was unsuccessfully marketed for commercial use, and later applied for 23 flats in 2016.

Both of these applications were later withdrawn, amid numerous criticisms, particularly the effects the development would have on the surrounding streets.

But in its design and access statement for this latest proposal, the developer said: “The plans submitted with this application have been informed and led by a clear understanding of the immediate and wider context of the area, in particular, the nature of the site, its constraints and the continued amenity of existing residents.”

However, the new applications failed to win over Sudbury Town Council when the plans were discussed at a well-attended planning committee meeting last week.

Councillor Jan Osborne, chairman of the Sudbury Town Council planning committee, told the Free Press: “The council listened to the views of residents and scrutinised the new plans. We still recommend refusal.

“We had concerns over the design of the proposed building. We were also concerned about the loss of amenities, and about the access issue, going from Belle Vue on to the development.

“We welcome the proposal to redevelop the site, and the residents do as well. They want the site redeveloped because it’s an eye-sore at the moment, but it needs to be the right development.”

Cllr Osborne said a suitable design was particularly important due to the site’s proximity to one of the main routes into Sudbury.

She added that the town council would welcome an opportunity for Parkland Developments to engage with members of the public and talk through the issues.

To view the application, go to the Babergh District Council planning portal at https://planning.babergh.gov.uk/online-applications and enter the reference number B/17/01023