Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: Plans unveiled for hospital sites

09:00 20 December 2012

An artists impression of the Walnuttree Hospital site under the contemporary design proposal.

An artists impression of the Walnuttree Hospital site under the contemporary design proposal.


PLANS to convert two historic hospital sites into housing have been revealed by the NHS.

The fate of Sudbury’s Walnuttree and St Leonards hospitals has been the focus of much speculation since plans for a new health centre on Church Field Road were given the go-ahead in November last year.

The vision for both sites was unveiled to more than 100 visitors at a public exhibition on Saturday.

Matt Kennington of KLH Architects said the intention was to retain the Victorian core of Walnuttree - which opened in 1837 as the Sudbury Union Workshouse - and convert it into 36 flats.

The remainder of the building will be demolished and replaced with one of two schemes – in either traditional or contemporary style – containing seven three-storey houses. The site will be extensively landscaped and will contain six courtyards, a private parking courtyard, parking for a further 28 cars and a communal open space.

The multiple courtyards have been designed in a contemporary style to “contrast yet respect” the 13th century foundation of the site and the Victorian hospital building, which is in a conservation area.

For St Leonards, two outline schemes have been proposed. One would see the main core of the original structure retained and converted to create up to six homes, with a further eight new builds on the site. The other suggestion is to demolish the entire building and create a 38-unit sheltered accommodation development.

Mr Kennington said: “We are excited to be involved in these sites because they have such a lot of history which we have been able to pick apart and use to help formulate the new plans. We realise that taking the history into account is very important to local people.”

More than 100 Sudbury residents attended the presentation at Walnuttree Hospital with many of those registering their views via questionnaires. Among them were members of the Sudbury Society, which has long campaigned to save the hospital from the bulldozers, and pitched an unsuccessful bid to get the site heritage listed. The society was keen to see part of the building retained as a heritage centre or museum. But the group’s planning committee vice chairman, Stephen Thorpe, said: “We are pleased that the original building [Walnuttree] is being kept and that the rest of it is being cleared away to accommodate the rest of the development.

“We are keen for the outpatients department to be partly for St Gregory’s Church and part meeting place, so in principal the plans are fine. Generally we are pleased that Waluntree is being saved and St Leonards being kept. The signs are good and we just hope that it will be true to these designs.”

Architects and planning consultants attended the exhibition to answer questions about both sites. Ruth Elwood, of Elwood Landscapes Design, based in Mendlesham Green said there had seen a steady stream of people coming in to look at the displays, with a lot of interest and several positive comments.

Former Walnuttree nurse, Phyllis Felton, who visited the exhibition said: “I am pleasantly surprised that they are keeping the main building which is a big part of our local history and it could be a good thing for the town.”

Chilton Parish Council chairman Peter Clifford, who also heads the group WATCH (Working and Acting Together for Community Health) and is heavily involved with planning for the future health centre, said: “So far the architects have created a good design and have retained the core of the building of Walnuttree.

“I think it will work and I’m sure local people will be happy with it as the developments could be a benefit to the community.”

Consultant Tim Harbord, from Lavenham, said they were hoping to get the formal planning application for the two sites submitted to Babergh District Council by mid-February. A further display is planned to take place in Sudbury Town Hall next month.


Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Corrie McKeague's last ever sighting at 3.24am September 24 2016. CCTV still from Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds. The building in the background is the edge of Cornhill Walk Shopping Centre

A video of the last ever sighting of Corrie McKeague has been released, as four weeks pass with no new leads.

Stock image of the A14 near Kentford.

Two speeding motorists who admitted driving at 130mph in Suffolk have been disqualified from driving.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24