Final plans for former council building set for green light

Council building Needham Market

The building is located in Needham Market high street. - Credit: Google Maps

Finishing touches to plans to turn a former council office building in Needham Market into apartments look set to be approved.

As part of a wider project, creating 94 homes, listed building consent is needed to convert the site, known as "Hurstlea" into 12 flats.

The plans for the Georgian era property, which was built at the end of the 18th century, were submitted by Mid Suffolk District Council and the final alterations will go before the authority's development control meeting on Wednesday, February 23. 

While previously the project has obtained listed building consent, some changes have been brought in, including alterations to the layout of the site, as well as three-bed apartments being changed into more spacious two-bed dwellings.

The planning statement for the scheme, produced by Purcell, said: "The proposed approach to the existing buildings has been developed to respect and retain the most significant areas of the listed building.

"The scheme enables the retention and beneficial re-use of 131 High Street which is of aesthetic and social importance to Needham Market.

"The proposed scheme therefore creates a very liveable and desirable environment that, through both its proximity to the town centre and the immediate availability of footpaths, cycle routes and public transport, capitalises upon the many benefits of sustainable town centre living.

Most Read

"To achieve these benefits unavoidably requires a level of intervention to the historic fabric and setting of the site.

"The design approach has been evolved from a knowledge and respect for the site and its history. The proposals permit the viable re-use and safeguarding of this heritage asset for future generations."

The committee report recommends that listed building consent is approved once more, as the project is successful in "allowing the building to breathe as well as allowing the public to enjoy it and its setting better than they did previously".

The report added: "The differences between the works which already enjoy Listed Building Consent and those where consent is sought here are very minor and actually improve legibility of the spaces within the building."