August 1 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk reporter
Friday, July 4, 2014
Part of Suffolk Constabulary’s Western Area HQ will be converted into flats after being sold off by the force.
Documents submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council contain a proposal to change the use of Maynewater House on Maynewater Lane, Bury St Edmunds, from offices to eight flats – with four on the ground floor and four on the first floor.
Architects working on behalf of new owners, Bury Physio, said the present office had been used as police quarters in 1994 and described the creation of flats as a return to an “original theme”.
Lionel Thurlow, architect at Thurlow Architects, said: “They are one and two-bedroom flats; they are quite small but they are flexible.
“The building used to be, historically, living accommodation, so it’s going back to an original theme that the building had.”
The development would be part of a trend, encouraged by the Government, of turning offices into residential instead of building new properties.
But the move is likely to cause concern among those living nearby who said when Maynewater House was put up for sale in 2013 that a residential development could exacerbate parking problems.
However documents put forward with the application state that a minimum of 18 parking spaces, plus space for bikes and motorcycles is “more than required” and could reduce problems in the area. Consultation on the proposal runs until July 17.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the property had been built in 1970 as residential accommodation for single serving officers, but was sold to generate money to help meet funding targets and preserve front-line policing.
Speaking in 2013 she added: “Following the opening of the Police Investigation Centre in River Lane during 2011 work was undertaken last year to convert the former custody suite in the Raingate Street police station to office space thereby enabling relocation of staff from Maynewater House.”