Community leaders have been left "sad" and "disappointed" after a landmark building in a Suffolk market town was put up for sale.

Belle Vue House in Sudbury has gone on the market with a guide price of £1.1million.

According to Chapman Stickels, which is marketing the property, the buyers will have the opportunity to convert one of the town's most iconic buildings into two "substantial" dwellings. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Belle Vue House in SudburyBelle Vue House in Sudbury (Image: Newsquest)

In December the developer behind conversion plans for the site confirmed it would be putting the building up for sale in the new year after a five-month wait to secure planning permission.

Councillor Jessie Carter, who represents Sudbury North West, said: "It is a shame that the developer has said they are unable to continue with the project as from their history of restorations they build to a high standard.

"The reason they were chosen over the other bids was because of this and it would have been nice to see the building come back to life.

"It is no secret that the majority of residents and councillors wanted to see Belle Vue house come back into community use, but like many councils across the county Babergh doesn’t have the budget and there looks to be no sign of help for councils from central government anytime soon.

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Jessie CarterCllr Jessie Carter (Image: Babergh District Council)

"The sale of the house ensured that Belle Vue Park could access the funding for much needed work within the park, like the café and toilets that we will see later this year.

"Having the planning permission already in place makes it attractive to a developer looking to take it on such a beautiful building, one thing we can all agree on is that we want the house saved and its beauty retained."

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Adrian OsborneCllr Adrian Osborne (Image: Babergh District Council)

Councillor Adrian Osborne, who represents Sudbury South East, said: "Really sad to see the house back on the market as I was hopeful that the house, at long last, had a positive future.

"I do hope that the new owner will be sympathetic to the house and the people of Sudbury." 

And Sudbury mayor Jan Osborne said: "So disappointed to hear that the house is up for sale and was so looking forward to an iconic building being bought back to looking good.

East Anglian Daily Times: Sudbury mayor Jan OsborneSudbury mayor Jan Osborne (Image: Sudbury Town Council)

"I do hope that the new owner will be sympathetic to its future." 

Councillor Laura Smith, who represents Sudbury South West, said: "Belle Vue House belonged to the people of Sudbury and should have been retained for community use, in my view.

"However, now that it is in private hands we can only hope a developer will commit to fulfilling the plans as permitted, before the house deteriorates any more."

She continued: "I believe post-Brexit price increases have forced it back onto the market.

"The council can instead concentrate on providing the new café and toilet facilities, which should be marvellous, and then hopefully the old swimming pool site can be opened up or put to public use as everybody would like."

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