Plans submitted to turn empty East Suffolk pub into HMO

The Crown at Leiston is looking for a new tenant Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Crown at Leiston could become an HMO - Credit: Archant

A former Suffolk pub could be turned into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) after it was deemed to be no longer viable. 

An application has been submitted to East Suffolk Council to turn the former Crown Pub in Leiston into an 11-bedroom HMO.

The proposals for the pub, submitted by Vision Design and Planning Consultants, include the creation of a lounge / dining area, as well as a kitchen, bathroom, and en-suite facilities which the applicants say will  meet regulations.

Thirteen parking spaces will also be created for those living in the building. 

The design and access statement for the property explains that the pub itself ceased trading shortly before the pandemic began and was "already facing issues of viability before the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic".

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The statement attributes these problems to a need for investment to help modernise the building and make it a destination pub in order to take on existing competition. 

The pub was put on the market in February 2020 and had its price dropped several times but failed to sell. 

Previous landlords had tried to buy the pub as late as September 2019, but with no offer being accepted by the owners. 

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The applicants said that the change of use of the building would have no impact on the surrounding area, but rather that external renovation work  proposed would "improve its presence" in the local area. 

A small number of comments have been made about the proposals with one resident concerned at the loss of another pub from the town. 

"I do not understand how the town of Leiston is going to lose yet another public house to redevelopment," said the resident. 

Other consultees on the application were more favourable to the application, suggesting it was a way to prevent the building deteriorating further.

East Suffolk councillor Tony Cooper said that while he supported the principal of the lake, there wa

Councillor Tony Cooper raised concerns about the plans

Aldeburgh and Leiston ward councillor at East Suffolk Council, Tony Cooper, also raised concerns about the application.

"I have concerns regarding this application numbers of rooms on second floor to toilets/washing facilities, safety of occupants in cellar plus other issues," said Mr Cooper. 

Mr Cooper said that the application should be called in for planning referral, before it is determined.

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