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Revealed: 135 new homes proposed for Needham Market in council and school building revamps

PUBLISHED: 10:23 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 December 2018

The two plans propose 135 new homes, a school, library and retail space in Needham Market Picture: MID SUFFOLK COUNCIL

The two plans propose 135 new homes, a school, library and retail space in Needham Market Picture: MID SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Archant

Plans for 135 new homes, shops and a library in Needham Market’s old council offices and middle school have now been submitted by Mid Suffolk District Council.

Plans for 135 new homes, shops and a library in Needham Market’s old council offices and middle school are now available to the public on the district council website.

The vision has been submitted as two planning applications, one for the former office site and car park, the other for the former middle school site.

Ex-council offices in the High Street will become 49 houses and 12 apartments, as well as 15 houses, eight apartments and a single retail outlet on the former office car park in Hurstlea Road.

The former middle school site application has 33 houses and eight flats while retaining the existing Victorian building and converting it into a library for the use of Suffolk Libraries, due to replace the existing library when the new one opens.

Affordable renting or affordable home ownership will be available for 51 of the 135 homes proposed.

Cllr Nick Gowrley, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Assets and Investment, said: “We’ve always been determined to leave our former office site empty for as little time as possible, and this planning application is the next step to bringing the site back into use.

“By offering residential and retail units, as well as retaining the listed buildings, we can secure the future of the site and see it develop into a key part of the town centre.

“Along with the affordable housing, library and community facilities on the former Middle School site, these applications could help Needham thrive for years to come.”

The listed building on the council office site, facing the High Street, will be retained and converted back to residential use so its character and period details can be preserved.

The bowling green behind it will be maintained as a communal green space for residents and the existing duck pond and surrounding open space will also be preserved.

The plans promise greater pedestrian access, but drivers will also get 20 spaces for public use, 25 for the retail space and additional private parking for residents.

Both plans are available on the council’s planning pages for comments.

Officers at the council will consider the plans before they go before the development control committee in 2019.

The proposals were drawn up by Purcell Architects following public consultation earlier this year.

Mid Suffolk are also looking to assist in enhancing Needham Market Community Centre, with a contribution to support a new home for the Community Internet Café incorporated within an extension, subject to planning, of the community centre.

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