Flats plan for landmark building

AN IMPORTANT empty landmark building in Leiston will be turned into new homes.Suffolk Coastal District Council has given permission for Heritage Developments to convert Colonial House on the Masterlord industrial estate in Station Road into 28 flats ranging from one to three bedrooms.

AN IMPORTANT empty landmark building in Leiston will be turned into new homes.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has given permission for Heritage Developments to convert Colonial House on the Masterlord industrial estate in Station Road into 28 flats ranging from one to three bedrooms.

The development control sub committee also decided yesterday that a four-storey building could be built in the grounds with a total of 20 flats and homes.

Leiston Town Council welcomed the project and said in a statement: ''This is an important scheme for the town and members are appreciative of the developer's efforts to help ensure it is a suitable and enduring landmark in what is a most prominent position.''


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Matt Bartram, managing director of Heritage Developments, said his company had already achieved a high standard with its development of Waterloo Mews in Leiston.

''We want to enhance this area of Leiston and we firmly believe that any development in Leiston would copy what we have set in stone.

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''This is a fantastic opportunity to bring this particular building back as a focal residential building in the town. The change of use of this particular site will enable people to benefit and although there will be eight units of affordable housing, the emphasis will still remain on quality.''

The district council recently introduced a new policy on affordable housing. Developments with six or more homes will have to have a 33% ratio of affordable properties.

Marian Andrews, a district councillor, questioned why only eight units were being provided out of a total of 48 new homes on the site.

The district council said there was already a valid planning consent for 23 homes which had been given before the new policy was introduced and therefore the ratio of affordable homes was worked out on the balance of 25 homes.

A report by planning officers stated: ''Colonial House makes a strong architectural statement and forms an interesting backdrop to the green area in front of it.

''It is an important landmark at this busy crossroads. The current application follows certain basic principles established as part of the earlier permission, but seeks a number of amendments, particularly an increase in the number of dwellings to be provided. There can be no objections to the principle of this form of development.''

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