Plans to demolish old Forest Heath council offices submitted

The former Forest Heath District Council and West Suffolk Council offices in College Heath Road, Mildenhall.

The former Forest Heath District Council and West Suffolk Council offices in College Heath Road, Mildenhall. - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

An order to knock down former council offices in Mildenhall has been submitted, paving the way for the possibility of new homes on the site.

West Suffolk Council plans to demolish the old council offices and library in College Heath Road, which was formerly the base for its predecessor Forest Heath District Council.

A formal order under Town and Country Planning legislation has been submitted, with the date of the demolition and a tender for the contract set to be announced in due course.

While it is only the first stage in a lengthy process to redevelop the land, West Suffolk Council’s 2019 local plan site allocations has the 2.1-hectare site listed for an indicative capacity of 89 homes in future.

The former Mildenhall Library in College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk.

The former Mildenhall Library in College Heath Road. - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: “The newly opened and successful Mildenhall Hub now means we no longer need the former College Heath Road offices.

“We have obtained external funding to do this demolition work and its removal means the area will be kept safe, secure and reduce costs.

“It can then be developed at a later date in conjunction with its allocation in the local plan.

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“We have been keeping residents up to date with this and once firmer proposals are made we will make those public.

“We will announce who has obtained the tender and dates for the work to demolish the old buildings in due course.”

The former Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils merged in 2019 to form West Suffolk Council, with most of its public-facing functions currently carried out at its Western Way base in Bury St Edmunds.

However the Mildenhall Hub opened last summer uniting a range of public sector organisations under one roof, with district council space there meaning the old College Heath Road offices are no longer needed.

Redevelopment of the land for housing will help the district meet its housing needs and bring back a brownfield site into use, although a formal planning application will be needed for that work to happen and the demolition order only represents the first step for that work.

The land is largely surrounded by housing, with the council’s local plan stating that it is “potentially suitable for apartments”.