Former Royal British Legion HQ to be bulldozed to make way for homes

Goyfield House - former home of the Royal British Legion in Felixstowe - is to be demolished

Goyfield House - former home of the Royal British Legion in Felixstowe - is to be demolished - Credit: Richard Cornwell

A former social club that has become the target of vandals is to be demolished as the first step towards redevelopment of the site for up to 30 new homes.

The Felixstowe Royal British Legion Club - up for sale for more than £1million - has been the scene of a number of break-ins, graffiti and damage since it closed in 2020 with police and council officers regularly called to the site.

Now the RBL has asked to bulldoze the building, Goyfield House in Mill Lane, and East Suffolk Council has asked for a demolition management plan to minimise the nuisance to nearby residents.

The club closed after declining membership left it in a precarious position financially. It had been in operation for nearly 90 years, dating back to the 1930s.

Felixstowe RBL Mill Lane target for vandals

The building has become a target for vandals - Credit: Richard Cornwell

It was a favourite place for former servicemen to meet up socially and had more than 200 members, and its bar was highly popular. It was open to people outside the forces, too, and the management had been aiming to make it an attractive venue for younger people.

It was also an important part of the community, helping other charities and organisations with free venue hire and support. The club hosted live bands, quiz nights and regular darts and pool tournaments, and was also a popular venue for meetings and other events.

Edgeplan, on behalf of the RBL, said: "Goyfield house is therefore surplus to requirements, and as a vacant property, is suffering from vandalism, break-ins and substantial damage despite attempts to maintain security.

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"The police and the council’s Environmental Health Department have been called out on a number of occasions and have expressed concern at the state of the building and its unsafe condition.

"The substantial costs of maintaining the building in a secure condition are now becoming a burden upon the charitable aims of the Legion, with no realistic prospect of a viable future use. The time has come, therefore, to demolish the building pending the disposal of the site for an alternative future use."

Selling agents Lamb & Swift have described the club, which sits on a 1.6-acre site, as in a "poor condition".

The local charity branch of the RBL was not affected and is still thriving, raising money for the Poppy Appeal and the legion funds and playing a key role in helping veterans and others, taking part in civic commemorations, including the annual Remembrance events at the resort.