The developer behind the conversion of a landmark Suffolk building will be putting it up for sale in the new year after a five-month wait to secure planning permission.

Babergh District Council has granted permission for period property specialists Richard and Ruth McCabe-Abel to convert the 19th century Belle Vue House in Sudbury.

Mr Abel said the plans would help save the "much loved building from an uncertain future and potential demolition".

The developer has said that they are now not in a position to continue the project and will be marketing Belle Vue for sale in the new year as a renovation project.

The application for the former council office site, submitted in July, made plans for a partial demolition along with new ground floor extension.

The plans originally involved dividing the building in two to form two homes, one five-bedroom and one three-bedroom.

The property developers only managed to purchase the house earlier this year, despite wishing to do so since 2015.

Mr Abel said: "It has taken a further five months to achieve planning permission. This is despite overwhelming local support for the scheme from Sudbury residents and those wishing to see the building restored.

Read more: Plans to turn 'beautiful' landmark into homes hailed as only solution

"Having been advised by our planning agent that our application to restore Belle Vue House was now looking likely to be refused, and given that the original September determination deadline had been and gone, we, unfortunately, had no option other than to commit to alternative projects. 

"As a result, we are not now in a position to start work on Belle Vue House for some considerable time.

"The building cannot wait indefinitely though, so having achieved our aim of protecting Belle Vue House for future generations by securing residential use, we will be marketing the property for sale in the new year as a renovation project, with everything in place for a new owner to take it forward and make it their Sudbury home."

The property has been vacant since 2016, and since then has “suffered significant decay, water penetration, vandalism and neglect,” according to application documents.

The application was granted on Wednesday (November 29)