Holiday homes plan pulled at last minute

Plans to add three more holiday homes to the list of places to stay in the tourist hotspot of Lavenham are not going ahead.

Owner East Anglian Renovations had applied to Babergh District Council to turn office units at Constable Court in Barn Street into three separate holiday units with kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Development councillors at a meeting on Wednesday heard the owners had withdrawn the application – which had been recommended for refusal –at the last minute.

A spokeswoman for Babergh said: “We only found out on Tuesday afternoon so the update wasn’t given until the meeting on Wednesday. As far as we know, they have been able to let out two of the units and therefore don’t need the change of use.”

The proposal was for a change of use from general industrial use to business use. The application attracted three letters of objection and one letter of support.

In a council report, officers were told concerns had been raised about the impact on nearby residents from music or traffic at weekends.

One objector said: “There are currently 22 holiday cottages and 14 B&Bs in addition to The Priory and Old Rectory and three hotels. I feel there is no requirement for additional holiday accommodation in Lavenham and the current classification is acceptable within the area.”

Another objector said that if the business units had been advertised and marketed “correctly” there would be a need for the business units as they are.

“These properties are not advertised in local or national newspapers and have minimal exposure on the internet,” they said.

The report said the council believed Constable Court should retain its use as business units “in anticipation of the financial upturn”.

“The emphasis is on small business start-ups, as it offers the opportunity for a higher level of future employment rather than as holiday lets,” it read.