Gaming lounge and bar gets green light from planners
- Credit: WILLIAM WARD
Plans for a gaming lounge and bar in a derelict former shop in Sudbury town centre have been approved.
The former Thing-me-Bobs in the Borehamgate shopping centre will be converted into a cafe-bar housing gaming PCs and consoles with super-fast broadband speeds, allowing players either as individuals or teams to take part in online competitions locally, nationally and globally.
Applicant Caffeine Lounge said the cafe, which will have an alcohol licence, could also be used by universities and colleges to run game design workshops, as well as gaming days for the disabled using modified equipment.
Objectors to the scheme were worried about people being able to access the Borehamgate centre, which is owned by Babergh District Council, late at night.
Peter Beer, the chairman of the council's planning committee, said approval was subject to strict conditions, including measures to limit noise levels and disturbance to neighbours and residents living in Borehamgate.
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Planners were told the precinct is below a number of residential windows and even normal noise from a well-behaved group of people smoking around the benches outside was likely to cause disturbance.
But Mr Beer added: "I am concerned by the number of empty of shops in Sudbury and we must embrace the change from traditional high streets to new leisure and night-time economies for our town centres.
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"We hope this exciting new venture is successful for Sudbury, with the conditions imposed ensuring that the business is a considerate neighbour to local residents."
Caffeine Lounge founder William Ward said the licence allowed them to open until 3.30am.
"We've created a community environment for avid gamers to enjoy their e-sports as players or spectators, as well as offering a great bar and lounge for people to just come and hang out," he said.
Trevor Cresswell, a Sudbury Labour member of Babergh Council who lives in Borehamgate, said he would be keeping an eye on the cafe once it opened.
"It's not that I don't want to see new businesses in the town, but you've got people living in Borehamgate who have a right to a night's sleep," he said.