Former club and bowls green set to become new homes
PUBLISHED: 07:30 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 18 September 2020
Planners are moving closer to making a decision on the future of one of Leiston’s best-known buildings which is set to be converted into 15 new homes.
The former Leiston and District Constitutional Club has stood empty for six years and plans for its future were lodged with East Suffolk Council a year ago.
For the past year, developers Heritage Developments Ltd and their planning experts Lanpro have been discussing the proposals with the council.
Lanpro says the latest plans – to be discussed by Leiston Town Council on September 22 – aim to overcome concerns raised during an earlier consultation, with amendments to the site boundary and parking area.
The amended plans also include two affordable properties – one-bed shared ownership homes – in the converted Constitutional Club. It is proposed the club in Waterloo Avenue will be converted into 12 apartments with the old disused bowling green at the rear redeveloped with three two-bed bungalows.
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The club – a striking building which dates back to 1909 – will feature two studio apartments, four one-bed and six two-bed flats. There will be 24 car parking spaces and 32 cycle spaces.
Lanpro said: “The development will mean the loss of the bowling green and club building, but both have been closed since May 2014. Since that time, the clubhouse and bowling green have been vacant and derelict.
“The members of the bowling club who were previously using the site have been accommodated within the Leiston Town Bowls Club since the closure. At the time, there were only around 15 members who were all offered membership.
“An initial conversation was undertaken with Leiston Town Bowls Club in January 2017 and they advised that they have around 50 members but would like more members. Their facilities are very good and some of the best in the county.
“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.”
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