Belle Vue House to be opened up for viewing
- Credit: Archant
The doors of a Sudbury house at the centre of a bitter row over its future are to be opened to interested parties.
Babergh District Council is opening Belle Vue House in Sudbury by appointment in September to allow interested parties to inspect it and ensure they have the information they need to submit their own proposals for the building.
The council is drawing up its plans for a proposed hotel and restaurant on the site of a former swimming pool and a corner of the adjoining park by the end of the year.
But the scheme has sparked controversy in the town from opponents who want the site preserved.
Opposition has included vitriolic attacks on social media towards councillors supporting the scheme.
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Sudbury Town Council has told Babergh it would prefer to see the 19th century house demolished rather than lose part of the park.
Emily Atack, assistant director of assets and investments at Babergh District Council, said: "We want to ensure that potentially interested parties have all the information they need in order to submit a detailed proposal for the future use of the house.
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"We are keen to hear any proposals that can be shown to be financially viable and that would benefit Sudbury.
"In order to come up with those proposals, people need access to documentation and we recognise that they will also want to see the building for themselves.
"We are offering appointments to view the house and urge anyone with a legitimate, viable idea to take this opportunity to see it for themselves and submit their proposal so an informed decision can be made about its future."
An information pack of plans, Land Registry details, photos and further guidance, has been made available on the council website to help interested parties prepare detailed proposals for how they could offer the building a financially viable future. House viewings are available during Monday, September 16 and Thursday, September 26 and appointments can be made via the website. Formal expressions of interest for the building's future use need to be submitted to the council in writing by Friday, November 1. The council has also instructed estate agents Strutt & Parker to explore whether there is any commercial interest in the property - before giving residents a say on a shortlist of financially viable proposals as part of a public consultation later in the year. Ms Atack said: "We're keen to share plans for the proposed hotel and restaurant as soon as possible, so that everyone can see and understand the plans in detail and understand exactly what the proposeddevelopment would mean for the area. "We can then have a more meaningful conversation with Sudbury residents about the future of the whole of Belle Vue - the house, the former swimming pool site, and our future investment in the park - and, by working with the local community, come up with the best possible solution for residents, businesses and visitors to Sudbury." All information is available on the website but anyone needing more details should email the council.