A proposal to transform a former tax office site into a block of flats has secured outline approval, after the site spent years in limbo.
Parkland Developments won planning permission for up to 19 flats, communal areas and associated parking, at the vacant former site of the Crown Building on the corner of Newton Road and Belle Vue Road, in Sudbury.
It follows two previous applications – one for 33 flats in 2014, and another for 23 flats in 2016 – that were withdrawn amid heavy criticism. Both came after the land had been unsuccessfully marketed for commercial use for several years.
The latest plan had been recommended for refusal by Sudbury Town Council, which said that, while it welcomed the provision of affordable housing in the town, it was concerned that the design would compromise the street scene, and potential traffic and pedestrian crossing issues.
But Babergh District Council’s planning committee agreed with its officers, who said there was no longer any realistic prospect of employment use for the site.
They stated the demand for this type of housing and its proximity to the town centre meant the benefits outweighed any adverse impacts.
Peter Whatley, who has owned the Crown Building site for several years, said he had wanted to see the land redeveloped for a long time, and he believed the conversion into flats would be good for the town.
“My view is it should have happened a long time ago,” Mr Whatley told the Free Press.
“The good thing is it’s now done and hopefully will have a positive impact on Sudbury town centre.
“The bottom line is the site can be cleaned up and redeveloped, as it rightly should be. Common sense seems to have prevailed and I think it will be very beneficial for the town.”