'Unsustainable' charity cafe set to be converted into flats complex

The Bridge Project cafe in Sudbury, which could be converted as a block of flats

The Bridge Project cafe in Sudbury, which could be converted as a block of flats - Credit: Google Maps

An "unsustainable" charity cafe near Sudbury town centre is set to be converted into a block of flats, according to new plans.

The Bridge Project, a charity which has been supporting disadvantaged adults for more than 25 years, has applied to Babergh District Council to change the use of its Gainsborough Street unit.

The organisation said in planning documents that the demand for a cafe in the area has "dramatically dropped" due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns.

The Bridge Project has said it plans to relocate its operations in delivering hot food to vulnerable people to another base in Sudbury.

Under Covid restrictions, the cafe is not able to reopen until April 12 at the earliest.

Documents submitted to the council reveal proposals to revamp the four-storey Grade II-listed property, two rear extensions and  two-storey outbuilding into a residential complex.

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In planning documents submitted alongside the proposals, agent Land Resolutions has said the site "benefits from an excellent accessibility to a range of local community amenities" given its close proximity to Sudbury town centre.

Land Resolutions added that potential future occupants of the flats would have access to "a wide range of restaurants and shops" within walking distance.

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Any redevelopment would have a "minimal" impact on the appearance of the building and the layout of the car parking area in the middle of the site would remain unchanged.

Planning documents said: "The proposed layout of the flats was solely designed with the future occupants in mind.

"The design tried to ensure each individual unit and the occupants had their own comfortable living space. Each unit is very spacious and will make for an extremely comfortable living space whilst catering for a variety of needs.

"The application site is in a sustainable area and an extremely desirable location within Sudbury town.

"The current use has proven to be unsustainable by way of advertising. The proposed use will provide nine high quality residential units for local residents.

"The effect on any neighbouring buildings whilst the proposed development is carried out will be kept to a minimum and the proposed use will have less effect on the immediate area than the current use."

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