A Sudbury property developer has registered his interest in buying Belle Vue House – and says he wants to keep it for the people of the town.
Barry Drury owns dozens of properties in the town, and has a particular interest in acquiring buildings with character, with the aim of saving and refurbishing them.
Mr Drury said that he had only recently become aware of the availability of the site and said he would be interested in buying it.
He has registered his interest with Sudbury Steering Group, which has been leading consultations on the sale of the house, which includes the old swimming pool.
He also made his interests known to Babergh District Council, which owns the site, before its August 31 deadline.
“We will just have to wait and see now,” said Mr Drury. “Wouldn’t people rather see a local man own it than some company, which will come in and build a hotel?
“It’s a nice building, it’s a part of Sudbury. We have got a lot of concrete and not many old original places left.
“A hotel group will probably knock it down – 30 pieces of silver for one of our Sudbury buildings.
“It was used in the First World War as a hospital.”
Mr Drury said he would “let the public decide what to do with the building”, as long as it was viable.
Unsure of his chances of purchasing the site, he said he would happily meet with the steering group to discuss plans and said he was hoping to be able to visit the building, which is said to be in a very poor state inside.
“I would like to think that, as a local person, I would get a chance to have my say with a view to buying it,” he said.
Sudbury town councillor John Sayers said he was aware of Mr Drury’s interest.
The council will discuss plans for the house at its monthly meeting on Tuesday and will submit a recommendation to the steering group, which is due to meet at the end of the month.