Building work begins to convert former council offices into homes
- Credit: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL
Work has started on a significant housing project which aims to convert a former council building and surrounding land in Needham Market into 91 homes.
The plans will see the conversion of an 18th century building, which used to house Mid Suffolk District Council, in High Street, into six flats.
Meanwhile, a 1970s council building will be demolished to make way for a further 85 homes, which will also be built on the former council car park.
Work has now started on phase one of the development, which will see 15 houses and 18 flats built on the former car park which is across Hurstlea Road from the main bulk of the development.
There will also be a retail unit built within the block of flats.
Plans for phase one of the development were approved at the end of October and developers have wasted no time in getting going.
It was originally hoped that work would begin at the end of 2019, but delays meant that a start date was revised to summer 2020.
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However, further delays due to the coronavirus pandemic have meant that work has only just got underway.
As part of the initial phase, the car park will be removed and work will be done on a neighbouring wooded area.
Planners have reassured residents that the existing pond and surrounding landscaping next to the car park will be “retained and improved”, after concerns were raised.
Council officers say work on phase two of the plans will not take place until the summer of 2021.
Ahead of that work, another application, asking for permission to convert the former council building, which is listed, into flats has also been submitted.
Part of the building is also planned to be demolished.
A number of conditions still remain for phase two of the development, however.
The second phase would involve the construction of 49 new houses and the conversion of the 18th century building into six new flats.
An adjoining 20th century building will also be converted into four other flats and a further roof extension will give space for another two homes.
Also featured on the site will be 160 car parking spaces for residents, 23 visitor parking spaces and 25 retail spaces, as well as a further 20 spaces for the public.