Former nightclub flats plan rejected

The former Easterns Station Lounge club in Sudbury. ENGANL00120121012155145
The former Easterns Station Lounge club in Sudbury. ENGANL00120121012155145

Despite Sudbury ‘badly needing’ more one and two bedroom homes, plans to turn former nightclub Easterns into 15 flats have been rejected by the town council.

Speaking after a meeting of Sudbury Town Council’s planning committee on Monday night, chairman councillor Jan Osborne said: “The committee felt they couldn’t approve the application because there is no parking provision whatsoever.

“It’s a shame and very disappointing because Sudbury badly needs more one and two bedroom accommodation.

“The applicant was suggesting parking be provided at the Kingfisher and Roys car parks, but the committee felt they couldn’t approve the application because there is no parking on site.

“It was very reluctantly turned down,” she added.

The former Easterns Station Lounge nightclub in Great Eastern Road closed four years ago after a string of breaches of its licence, including selling alcohol to four volunteers aged between 15 and 17 uncovered after a police, trading standards and Babergh council sting.

The planning application includes demolishing the building - retaining its facades - to build 15 flats within a three-storey building of a “modern appearance” with its main pedestrian access from Francis Road.

It has yet to be considered by Babergh District Council’s planning committee.

In documents submitted to Babergh, Historic England’s East of England consultant David Edleston said the organisation had concerns about the proposed materials used in the development. “Whilst we support the aim of enhancing the character of the areas, we would recommend that the scheme is redesigned,” he said.

“Historic England could not support the design proposed which we consider to be harmful to the character of the conservation area and the wider setting of the church of St Peter.”

In a local police response to the planning application, Sergeant Matthew Paisley said he saw the proposed development as a positive step forward to make use of an attractive building helping kickstart regeneration in the area.

He said: “I remain concerned that no provision is made for parking and this will have an impact on the heavily-congested streets in the immediate vicinity.

“I take into account that suitable parking facilities are offered close by. But I am aware of initial discussion to introduce parking charges for short term use at all time. Should these charges be introduced, this will significantly impact on where residents will choose to park their cars from the proposed development,” he added.