Plans to build 12 flats on former hotel supported

KEEP THE CHARACTER: Councillor John Sayers outside the Tarantella.
KEEP THE CHARACTER: Councillor John Sayers outside the Tarantella.

The transformation of a disused hotel in Sudbury into flats has moved a step closer after the plans were given the support of the town council.

The Tarantella hotel and restaurant in Melford Road has stood empty for six years after being badly damaged by successive fires.

On Tuesday, members of the council’s planning and development committee met to discuss an application which would see the 120-year-old building turned into 12 flats.

Councillor Jack Owen said he believed the proposals, submitted by businessman Alan James from Sible Hedingham, were the best option for the site.

“It has been empty and a wreck for six years,” he said. “There has been no take-up for it as a hotel and that speaks for itself.”

Committee chairman Jan Osborne said three hotel chains had looked at the building with development in mind but decided it was not suitable.

Oliver Forder said that, although Sudbury was “desperate” for more hotel accommodation, the need was greatest near the town centre.

“Other hotel chains have been reported to be looking at sites in other areas but there has been no interest here,” said Nigel Bennett. “Therefore, I concur with the change of use.”

The project would consist of 11 two-bedroom flats and one three-bedroom flat, with parking for 14 cars.

Councillors agreed that they were behind the plans, as long as work was carried out “sympathetically”, and as much material as possible from the building was reused.

“It is important to retain as much of the character of that building,” said John Sayers.

“It is a very handsome building and it would be an awful shame if it was spoiled.”

Members voted unanimously to support the plans, subject to a number of conditions. The application will go before Babergh District Council at a later date.