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Two community bids for future of Belle Vue House in Sudbury set for public consultation in 2020

Could Belle Vue House be transformed into a community wellbeing facility or sheltered housing with a café and heritage centre?

These are among the ideas for the well-known Sudbury landmark set to be taken forward for public feedback in the new year, after a period for interested parties to submit proposals for the site concluded on Friday.

Babergh District Council confirmed two separate community bids were received, along with a number of commercial bids to convert the building into residences.

Belle Vue House in Sudbury..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (21086515)
Belle Vue House in Sudbury..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (21086515)

The first community proposal suggested converting Belle Vue House into a health and wellbeing centre, offering classes and services to support local residents, while the second bid makes the case for private sheltered housing with additional amenities.

A public consultation on these proposals is now expected to take place in 2020, having been delayed from its intended start date this month, because of the announcement of the snap general election.

The council says it will also seek people’s views on plans for a hotel and restaurant at the site, ahead of a formal planning application being filed next year, and that councillors will use all of the feedback, along with an assessment of financial implications, to reach their final decision.

Emily Atack, Babergh District Council’s assistant director for assets and investments, said: “It’s great that community groups and commercial interests have invested time and effort into developing proposals.

“We’re keen to share these as soon as possible, so that everyone can see and understand exactly what they would mean for Sudbury – but we also want to be sure that everyone has a fair chance to have their say.

“We can’t go out to consultation in the run-up to an election, and don’t want to consult immediately afterwards over Christmas, when people may be busy or away.

“By giving everyone the opportunity to see and comment on plans for Belle Vue, we can ensure that we’re working together to come up with the best possible solution for residents, businesses and visitors to Sudbury.”

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