Conversion of former council building and car park into homes to begin
- Credit: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL
The first phase of a significant housing project which aims to convert a former council building and surrounding land in Needham Market into 91 homes is ready to begin.
The plans will see the conversion of an 18th century building, which used to house Mid Suffolk District Council, in High Street into six flats.
Meanwhile a 1970s council building will be demolished to make way for a further 85 homes which will also be built on the former council car park.
Phase one of the development will see 15 houses and 18 flats built on the former car park which is across Hurstlea Road from the main bulk of the development.
There will also be a retail unit built within the block of flats.
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Concerns had been raised over the conservation of the adjoining duck pond off Hurstlea Road however planners reassured residents that the existing pond, and surrounding landscaping will be “retained and improved”.
The plans were initially given the green light in October 2019 and Mid Suffolk District Council, who are behind the application, have now agreed a number of conditions which means that work on phase one of the project can now begin.
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It was originally hoped that work would begin at the end on 2019, but delays meant that a start date was revised to summer 2020.
However, further delays have meant that plans have only just been approved.
A number of conditions are still outstanding for phase two of the development, which will involve the demolition of the 1970s building before the construction of 49 new houses and the conversion of the 18th century building into six new flats.
An adjoining 20th century building will also be converted into four other flats and a further roof extension will give space for another two dwellings.
Also featured on the site will be 160 car parking spaces for residents, 23 visitor parking spaces, 25 retail spaces as well as a further 20 spaces for the public.
Of the 91 dwellings set to be built, 10 one and two bed dwellings will be made available for affordable renting and three two bed homes will be made available for shared ownership.
In the application, Mid Suffolk District Council said the conversion of the former council building would prevent the risk of further decay, as it has been left empty for a number of years. The homes are said to “provide a much needed addition to market housing”.
They added: “The development will encourage the creation within this currently-underutilised site of a diverse community, from the young, to families to the retired.”