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Redundant office set to be turned into new village cafe as plans given the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 05:30 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 29 October 2020

The new cafe will be on The Square in Martlesham Heath Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The new cafe will be on The Square in Martlesham Heath Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

A former office is set to become a village centre cafe after planning bosses approved its application.

The new cafe is proposed for The Square in Martlesham Heath.

The space was formerly used by accountants.

The new cafe will take over the ground floor of the building with the main office area set to become the main seating area.

Plans for the new cafe indicate it will incorporate a new outdoor seating area as well as new ramp access to the building.

In a design and access statement prepared by Peter Wells, architects for the applicants, said: “This outdoor space will allow visitors to engage with life on The Square, and will encourage visitors to spend longer in the area.”

Those behind the new cafe hope the new business will benefit the shops already in the square and “also to encourage more visitors to the area”.

It’s not the first time that the applicants have put in plans to build a cafe in the area.

In May 2019, they put in an application to East Suffolk Council to build a stand alone cafe in the centre of the square.

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The plans were approved but in the intervening time the former office space became available.

In the design statement the applicants said that using the former office building provided a more economically viable opportunity for the business, particularly given the current trading conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

They added that the building would also offer more space as well as both indoor and outdoor seating areas which the proposed new build would not have been able to provide.

In a statement provided to East Suffolk Council, Martlesham Parish Council said it saw the benefits of the new application and that it met with the council’s own neighbourhood plan.

“The Parish Council has no objection to this planning application,” read the statement.

“It welcomes this as an alternative to building a kiosk style café in the middle of the Square and as a reasonable alternative use for the redundant office.

“The Martlesham Neighbourhood Plan identified the need for a café.”

East Suffolk Council’s planning officer also recommended the site for approval, having identified it as meeting all relevant planning criteria and having attracted no objections from residents.

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