Go-ahead for former club and bowls green to become new homes
- Credit: Archant
A former club and a bowls green is to be turned into 15 new homes after permission was given following more than a year of negotiations between planners and the developers.
The former Leiston and District Constitutional Club - one of the town's best-known buildings - has stood empty for seven years but will now be converted into 12 apartments with the bowling green at the rear replaced with three bungalows.
East Suffolk Council planning case officer Steve Milligan said while the bowling green would be lost the members of the bowling club previously using the site have been accommodated within the Leiston Town Bowls Club in Victory Road since the closure.
He said several attempts had been made to sell the building in Waterloo Avenue.
Mr MIlligan said: "The property has been closed since 2013 and would require a level of investment in excess of its value as a community facility.
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"It is important to the Conservation Area to have the club converted and restored as soon as possible and there is now an acceptable scheme which achieves it.
"The design of the conversion of the club is sensitive to its defining characteristics, externally, and will reverse some of unsympathetic modern changes."
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Planning experts Lanpro, representing the developers, said the plans include two affordable properties – one-bed shared ownership homes – in the converted Constitutional Club.
The club – a striking building which dates back to 1909 – will feature two studio apartments, four one-bed and six two-bed flats. The three bungalows would be two-bed.There will be 24 car parking spaces and 32 cycle spaces.
Lanpro said: “The redevelopment of the building would bring with it a significant planning benefit in the form of new homes to a district which has a historic under-delivery of housing. The scheme would re-use a building, retain and preserve a heritage asset in the conservation area.
“This is a significant benefit when balanced against the limited harm of losing a building which only provided around four jobs when it was last in use.”