Campaigners label town council's demolition bid of Belle Vue House in Sudbury as 'perverse'
The loss of Belle Vue House would have a detrimental impact on Sudbury’s heritage, should plans to demolish the site be approved, opponents of the scheme have warned.
Several community groups and a Sudbury businessman have pledged an interest in retaining the site for community use, following discussions over the future of the Victorian property in Belle Vue Park.
In a joint letter, Lord Andrew Phillips and John French, president of the Sudbury Society, highlighted their concerns over the proposal, following a town council vote, which favoured turning the site into a hotel.
“The decision made by the council, in a closed meeting, to favour demolition of Belle Vue House, strikes us as perverse, given the multiplicity of uses to which it could very usefully be put, and is morally questionable given the fact that it was gifted to us,” the pair have stated, while outlining the lasting impact the move could have on the town, should the property fail to be saved.
“This is not in the spirit of retaining our heritage assets to support the future prosperity of our town,” they said.
“It is both short term and will deny future generations an important legacy.”
The pair highlighted the poignant history of the property, which served as a Red Cross Hospital during the First World War among other uses, before it was handed over to the town council and subsequently Babergh District Council.
Both Mr Phillips and Mr French praised Babergh’s leader John Ward, who told the Free Press last week that the authority was keen for the property to be reused.