The manager of a snooker club which has been open for 40 years has spoken of her "shock" after a planning application to convert the property into flats was submitted without her knowledge.

Proposals seeking to convert the first floor of the Sudbury Snooker Club and Function Room at 50-51 North Street, which has been open since 1985, have been submitted to Babergh District Council. 

In documents before the council, applicant D&A Property Developers Limited said planned flats would comprise of two three-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom homes. 

However, Louise Milton, who runs the snooker club which acts as a community hub at the site, said the landlord did not formally tell her about the plans before they were submitted. 

"I have had comments saying 'are you closing' and 'are you going to be flats soon', but it was a shock to us too and I am just flabbergasted," she said.

"I am not just a snooker club, we have a community room, we support education, youth groups, darts groups, church groups, charities, exercise, mental health.

"People want to use the function room because of myself, where it is and how good it is." 

(From left): Joey and Ada of Hot Wok, Beverley East of Laundry Goddess, Louise Milton of Sudbury Snooker Club and Function Room, and Sue and John Skinner of The Tile Gallery(From left): Joey and Ada of Hot Wok, Beverley East of Laundry Goddess, Louise Milton of Sudbury Snooker Club and Function Room, and Sue and John Skinner of The Tile Gallery (Image: Newsquest)

She said she is a viable business with plenty of customers. She added that she has put her "heart and soul" into the club and it is her hope that the plan is refused.

The snooker club building is also home to three other businesses on the ground floor - Laundry Goddess, The Tile Gallery and Hot Wok. 

The owners of these businesses, including Sue and John Skinner who have run The Tile Gallery since 2004, said they fear the parking plans, which would see one of the seven spaces out the back dedicated to each of the four flats, would impact their ability to take deliveries. 

While there are no current plans for the ground floor units, they fear the developer may end up trying to turn their units into flats too.

Beverly East, who owns Laundry Goddess, said: "There hadn't been a laundrette here for 25 years until we opened 16 years ago.

"I am worried thinking, are we going to be next? You can see how busy we are, we are a community asset.

"We just need the support from the community. We need to be here for Louise and show up for ourselves to save our club." 

She added that all of the businesses are "unique" and should be protected, and said there are enough flats in the area including nearby Sulby House and the new flats being built at the former Conservative Club. 

Joey, who runs Hot Wok, said: "Louise is a very good person. We need to support her. It will affect all of us too." 

Sudbury Snooker Club and Function RoomSudbury Snooker Club and Function Room (Image: Google maps)

A statement on behalf of the applicant to Babergh District Council reads: "Approval was also granted for the conversion of Sulby House in 2017 for the conversion of office to 36 residential flats.

"This demonstrates an acceptability of the conversion of Class E floorspace into residential in this location."

Under the 'loss of services' heading, the statement reads: "The existing use is a Snooker Hall and therefore is not either a registered nursery or a health centre maintained under section 2 and 3 of the National Health Service Act 2006." 

More than 17 objection comments have already been lodged on the Babergh District Council planning portal. 

These include residents who say the snooker club would be "sorely missed" and that the area is "already overpopulated". 

The town council will meet at 6.30pm on Monday to discuss the plans.