The Sudbury community will bid farewell to a long-standing former pub and nightclub in the town, after plans to partially demolish and convert the building into new homes were granted approval.
Babergh District Council’s planning committee gave the green light last month to an application to turn Easterns Station Lounge in Station Road, which has been shut for more than four years, into 15 flats.
The long-established building previously traded as a pub under many different names, including The Great Eastern, Eastern’s and Eastern Bar, before becoming a nightclub, which then ceased operating after losing its license in 2012.
Sudbury Town Council voiced its support for the plans earlier this year, stating the desperate need for affordable one and two-bedroom homes in the town outweighed the negative impacts of a lack of parking at the building.
Cllr Adrian Osborne said in January: “I think we have got a situation again where the need outweighs harm, and if you can get even the minimum of parking spaces, that will help.
Cllr Jan Osborne added: “Ask someone who wanted affordable housing ‘would you rather have a roof over your head or a parking space?’ I know what I would decide.”
The application includes plans for up to three parking spaces in Francis Road, and it is suggested other residents could use nearby car parks, such as Kingfisher and Roys Department Store.
Since the proposal was approved, several Sudbury residents have expressed concerns on social media about the location of the new flats and the general lack of parking provisions.
Keith Lewis posted on Facebook: “What a horrible place to live. On the corner of a junction.”
Sarah Louise Harvey-Wade wrote: “Planning was turned down in the beginning because of a lack of parking ... now 15 flats ... which means at least one car per flat ... to be parked where exactly?”
Others were disappointed at the loss of the building as a pub and nightclub, and shared their memories over the years.
Gemma Hayton commented: “Such a shame the next generation won’t get to experience a night at Easterns.”
Roger Chaplin recalled: “In the mid 1950s, I played in the room upstairs when I was a member of the Cats Lane Ramblers Skiffle Group.
“In the 1960s, the then named Sudbury and District Motor Cycle and Light Car Club used the upstairs room for its weekly club nights.”