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New lease of life for Bury Post Office - as revamp set for green light

PUBLISHED: 05:30 01 November 2019

The Cornhill front of the building will be retained Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

The Cornhill front of the building will be retained Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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Proposals to give the old Post Office in Bury St Edmunds a new lease of life as flats are set to be approved next week.

The view from St Andrew's Street South and the proposed curved shop front Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILThe view from St Andrew's Street South and the proposed curved shop front Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Planning officers at West Suffolk Council have recommended approval for the development to create two business units on the ground floor of the building, on the Cornhill, alongside 12 flats.

The council put in the application in the summer, describing the historic building as an "important town centre site on a critical link between the old market square on Cornhill and the new development along St Andrew's Street South".

It added that the plans would conserve the building's Post Office heritage by retaining the Victorian facade.

The council's development control committee will meet on Wednesday in Mildenhall where a decision will be made.

John Griffiths, West Suffolk Council leader, said the council was taking the lead on future growth in Bury town centre. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIJohn Griffiths, West Suffolk Council leader, said the council was taking the lead on future growth in Bury town centre. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

Council leader John Griffiths in July said it was linked with future growth in Bury St Edmunds town centre.

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He said: "This is about the council investing, taking the lead and a key stake in the future growth of Bury St Edmunds town centre, not just as a place to trade, but as a place to work, live, visit and enjoy social and leisure activities.

"We have always been keen that this project would deliver economic and social improvements for the town as well as contributing to its future success as a place that people want to come to.

"The hope is that this development will act as a catalyst in encouraging more investment."

The building was opened in 1896, and while is not listed it is located in the Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Conservation Area.

The Bury St Edmunds Society said it "warmly welcomes" the applications and "hopes that it will lead to a more general improvement of the east side of St Andrew's Street".

The plans have also been backed by Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

Approval of the plans are dependent on suitable financial agreements being secured, including £454,000 to support affordable housing development, £33,192 primary school contribution and £16,596 towards a pre-school.

If planning permission is granted next week, it is not yet clear when work will begin or when the first completed units may be available.

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