Hotel and wedding venue top options for Belle Vue

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A viable future use for Sudbury’s Belle Vue House must be found to avert the “tragedy” of the building failing into disrepair.

Discussions into how the late-Victorian House could be redeveloped are currently ongoing and, on Thursday, town councillors met with officers from Babergh District Council to explore options.

Sudbury councillor Oliver Forder said the house was in dire need of restoration.

“We were all disappointed by the level of maintenance and could see a lot of money needs to be spent,” he said.

“There were a whole number of ideas floated, but there is no specific answer. It would be a tragedy if the house was not maintained.”

The district council, which owns the building, has allocated £800,000 from its budget over the next two years to either replace or renovate the house.

But Mr Forder said he still believed substantial private sector investment would be required.

“Whatever happens, it is essential the Citizens Advice Bureau is protected,” he said.

“Part could also be used as a small hotel or old people’s home, but it has to be something that does not detract from the park as it is a wonderful asset for the town.”

David Burnett, vice-chairman of the Sudbury Society, said the option of turning some of the building into a wedding venue – an idea put forward by mayor Jack Owen – could work.

He said this would be appropriate if the BMX park was redeveloped by Premier Inn, which has been in talks about the land.

“My personal view is that as long as the house, which embodies a lot of the history of the town is retained, I would not mind a hotel complex,” he said.

“Wedding parties could also be a possibility.”