Cladding materials removed from design for mill redevelopment

3D modelling by John Stebbing Architects of the proposed Burlington Mill redevelopment in Bury St Edmunds

3D modelling by John Stebbing Architects of the proposed Burlingham Mill redevelopment in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: John Stebbing Architects

Revised plans have been submitted for a housing development at a former mill that is a "local landmark".

A planning application was approved in 2019 for housing at Burlingham Mill at Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds.

The proposal by Pigeon (Burlingham Mill) Ltd is for the conversion of the former mill building into 14 flats with a further 28 houses and flats to be provided on the site following demolition of existing buildings.

The north-west elevation of the proposed Burlington Mill redevelopment 

The north-west elevation of the proposed Burlingham Mill redevelopment - Credit: John Stebbing Architects 

Revised drawings have been submitted to West Suffolk Council to address "major" changes in building control regulations, particularly fire safety, since the application was first made in 2015.

A planning statement by John Stebbing Architects said the key changes include:

  • Removal of cladding materials and changes of boundary materials to masonry brick; 
  • Changes to the internal arrangement and layout of the flats and circulation areas;
  • Provision of a lightwell to the north of the site to allow appropriate ventilation of the enclosed car park;
  • Smoke venting measures to both the mill building and the newbuild element;
  • Changes in site layout to facilitate fire service access.

At the same time, changes have been requested to the internal layout of the buildings and external appearance, including balconies/external amenity to all flats and a reduction in height of the mews houses. 

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However, the number of flats and houses, parking (48 car parking spaces) and access have not altered.

The statement said: "The changes as shown do not adversely impact on the amenity of any neighbouring/surrounding property. The proposals are of high design quality and embody the spirit of those previously submitted."

Another proposed aerial view of 3D model

Another proposed aerial view of 3D model - Credit: John Stebbing Architects

The conservation officer has asked that some elements are omitted from the revised design.

They said although not listed, the mill "is a non-designated heritage asset of distinctive appearance and is somewhat of a local landmark".

"The previously approved scheme retained the character of the mill building in its conversion," they said. "The proposed revisions, however, include projecting balconies, the introduction of many more windows and doors in the NW [north-west] elevation and the introduction of small-paned glazed doors in place of the solid boarded doors.

"Whilst I appreciate that the revised internal layout may necessitate the additional windows, the balconies and glazed doors would erode the strong mill character, to the detriment of the overall scheme."

The urban design officer also had concerns over the revised design, including the size and extent of the private terraces and the barriers between them undermining the central podium space.

But they added: "The simplification of the mews houses including a reduction in height is supported, although there is some concern about the treatment of the narrow space between the mill and the mews houses.

"There is therefore an opportunity to create a more intimate shared courtyard space and area for social interaction within a Mews Lane, which would provide another distinctive outdoor space and character area within the development."

To see the application and all comments visit the planning website.