Plans to build 7 homes and demolish East Bergholt public toilets submitted

The garden at The Lion in East Bergholt, formerly The Red Lion, which has been newly refurbished. Pi

The garden at the Lion Brasserie in East Bergholt, formerly The Red Lion, which has been newly refurbished. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Plans to build seven terraced homes, revamp the car park and demolish the public toilets have been submitted by the owner of the Lion Brasserie pub in East Bergholt.

The land to the rear of The Lion Brasserie, formerly known as the Red Lion pub in the heart of Constable Country, currently consists of a pub garden, an adjacent field and a car park.

Red Lion Antiques is now open next to the village pub Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The rear of the Red Lion Antiques and the Lion Brasserie, where the new homes and commercial buildings could be built. - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

The plans, which have been submitted to Babergh District Council, could see the area being developed into a short terrace of seven houses, a small commercial and storage building for the Brasserie, a garden office for the pub owner and a redesigned and enhanced car park.

The application states that its aim is to address the need for "small, well designed, affordable village homes that sit well in the heart of East Bergholt and allow sustainable growth and expansion".

It states: "The existing pub car park and lavatory do not positively contribute to the character or appearance of the area or the associated listed buildings.

"It is proposed that the lavatory is demolished, and the car park enhanced and upgraded to better suit its important position in the heart of the village and proximity to important neighbouring heritage assets."

The car park to the rear of the Lion Brasserie, formerly the Red Lion Public House. 

The car park to the rear of the Lion Brasserie, formerly the Red Lion Public House. - Credit: Google Maps

The Lion Brasserie, which lies within the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley AONB, reopened in September last year, after being meticulously renovated for the last three years.

The proposed drawings of the seven terraced homes, which are all set to be two bedrooms, use a restrained pallet of traditional materials which the applicant states are "typical of villages in the AONB". 

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The application states that the buildings will all be given their own distinctive character with carefully proportioned and detailed elevations, to ensure they fit in with the surroundings. 

The proposed car park would be reconfigured to allow for cars coming to and from the houses as well as providing 27 spaces for the Brasserie and community use.

The islands and four trees will be removed, and the toilet building will be demolished.

Red Lion Antiques is now open next to the village pub Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Lion Brasserie, in East Bergholt, which has submitted the plans to the rear of the pub. - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

The plans have not come without controversy, and many residents, including the East Bergholt Parish Council, have submitted objections. 

One person said the plans are "totally wrong for the village", adding that the car park needs to be at least the size it is now to accommodate all the extra cars when Covid restrictions ease. 

Among other concerns were the loss of the toilet block, flooding concerns, building on an AONB site and infringing upon residents. 

However, others praised the proposals for demolishing the toilet block, described as an "eyesore", and mentioned that the plans would make the village a more enticing place for visitors. 

The planning application will now be reviewed by council officers before they are approved or rejected. 

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