Premier Inn and Beefeater to be built on Belle Vue House site in Sudbury
Belle Vue House in Sudbury is likely to make way for a 50-room hotel and adjacent chain restaurant.
The historic 19th Century home and former swimming pool site is being sold by landowners Babergh District Council and the Free Press has seen plans for the site to be turned into a Premier Inn budget-hotel and adjacent restaurant.
Although the plans show the restaurant as a Brewers Fayre a spokesman for the two companies said Sudbury had been earmarked to have a Beefeater restaurant built.
“A Sudbury site is in our pipeline planner for hotels but the site name is yet to be confirmed,” he said.
“The site will have a Beefeater restaurant and is scheduled to open in June 2017.”
The designs handed to the Free Press show the restaurant on the former swimming pool, and most-recently, BMX park site.
The site will have 78 car parking spaces, with access via Newton Road at the heavily congested Belle Vue Junction.
Work is being carried out to try and alleviate some of the traffic issues at the junction.
The plans also show a cut through from the hotel complex to Belle Vue Park, which will be left untouched and remain in Babergh’s possession.
Yesterday (February 11) Babergh announced a buyer for the site had been selected by its strategy committee.
Last year the council agreed the house could be demolished due to the high cost of refurbishment and redevelopment, and it is likely the building will be knocked down to make way for the hotel.
The Sudbury Community Estate Bid team was hoping to save the building and redevelop it into a community hub, while retaining the Citizen’s Advice Bureau at the site.
However Estate chairman Theo Bird confirmed the group’s bid had not been selected.
The group also planned to open out the park, allowing it to be viewed from the town centre.
After hearing the decision Mr Bird told said: “I think Babergh should go look at themselves in the mirror.
“I think it’s a disgrace. We as council tax payers used our own time and money to see if we could give Belle Vue and the park another 100-years of life and we found local money to develop the house.
“It’s a real slap in the face for the community. Babergh have got their priorities wrong.
“Time will be the judge of their choice really.
“I sincerely hope they keep the building.
“As it is a publicly owned asset if we are not happy [with the chosen bid] we will pursue it with the ombudsman.
“It’s a great shame. We want to thank everybody that got involved.
“We have to hope the council has chosen a better bid for the right reasons.”
Babergh says bids were evaluated against set criteria, including economic and community benefits such as job creation and supporting the tourist and visitor economy in Sudbury and viability of the proposals.
A spokesman for the council said: “The preferred buyer will remain confidential until all of the legalities have been secured.
“The sale, and subsequent redevelopment of the site, was identified as an opportunity that could potentially provide major visitor, tourist and economic benefits to Sudbury, as part of the district council’s commitment to developing the local economy.”
Simon Barrett, portfolio holder for growth and the local economy, said: “After a thorough evaluation process where all tenders for Belle Vue House and the old swimming pool site were considered in detail, we have decided on its disposal to a preferred buyer. Their bid was best able to deliver on the criteria set.
“As landowner we have a role in securing the best possible outcome for Sudbury and the district as a whole, which will see the local economy grow and provide jobs for local people, improve links to the park and town centre and preserve the open space of the formal gardens and park for our community.
“While our evaluation process looked at price and quality, it was never simply about income generation for the council; equal weighting in the process was given to the benefits the development would bring to the community and the local economy.”
The land, which is owned by Babergh District Council, was listed for sale in early 2015 as it looked to provide opportunities for regeneration within one of its key market towns.
The park itself and the formal gardens will be retained in Babergh District Council ownership, to remain freely accessible to the public.
The Babergh spokesman added: “Babergh is committed to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) continuing to supply its service to the town.
“The council will further work with, and support, the CAB, which is currently using the Belle Vue House premises for its office. Alternative office locations for the service are being looked at by both CAB staff and council officers.”
Mr Bird however was concerned for the CAB’s future, with the community bid looking to retain the CAB within Belle Vue House.