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Plans for new retail units and flats in Sudbury resurrected

Gaol Lane
Gaol Lane

Plans to construct a number of new shops and flats in Gaol Lane, Sudbury, have been resurrected, 12 years after almost identical plans were granted permission but not acted upon.

Trustees of the Carolgate Friendly Society are seeking planning permission for a mixed development, comprising three retail units at ground floor and six flats on two upper floors, on the disused rear yard areas behind WH Smith and Superdrug in North Street.

The proposal was previously approved by planners in 2006, but it was never implemented due to financial difficulties brought about by the recession of 2007 and 2008 and, despite the planning permission being extended for a time, it eventually lapsed, meaning the development could not go forward.

The Carolgate Friendly Society says in its planning statement that the land has since become unkempt and subject to casual car parking by the general public, rather than the intended usage as rear service yard areas.

The statement from the applicants reads: “The proposed small retail units at ground floor level will complement the existing small independent retail units in Gaol Lane, all benefitting from the footfall of pedestrians making their way to and from the North Street car park to Market Hill and the town centre.

“The proposed six flats above the shops will strengthen the existing residential community in Gaol Lane – such mixed use schemes being supported by the retained elements of the Babergh local plan, which encourages small-scale development of this type in the right context.”

The application has also received a recommendation of approval from Sudbury Town Council.

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