Go-ahead for exciting expansion and balcony dining at seafront theatre

How the Spa Pavilion will look after the expansion project is built 

How the Spa Pavilion will look after the expansion project is built - Credit: KLH ARCHITECTS /SPA PAVILION

Proposals for an exciting addition to Felixstowe's seafront theatre to create a rooftop open-air balcony and extend its dining experiences have been given the go-ahead.

Planners have praised the design of the extension, which will be built on the sea-facing side of the Spa Pavilion - turning the existing ground level parlour cafe into a multi-use area with bigger kitchen to serve the whole venue, and new toilets.

East Suffolk Council planning case officer Grant Heal described the project as "a creative and high-quality scheme that will integrate seamlessly with the existing venue and its surroundings".

He added: "The application will ensure the preservation of an iconic local landmark, while also providing an overall enhancement to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and historic Spa Gardens."

Spa Pavilion

The Spa Pavilion is set for an exciting expansion project - Credit: SOPHIE KENNELLY

This scheme will increase the size of the parlour cafe as well as providing a small performance and function space.

The new balcony eating area would be above this and alongside the current main lounge dining area, extending the dining facilities indoors and out.

Mr Heal said the scheme would also remove unsympathetic features, such as the triangular window extrusions of the upstairs restaurant, which date from 1960.

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It is the latest project by the Spa management - who took over the theatre six years ago after it had been closed and boarded up for two years - to restore it to its former glory, providing an all-year-round programme of quality shows plus food.

In a report KLH Architects said the windows of the upstairs restaurant will be entirely replaced by a band of glazed internal bi-fold doors.

The report adds: "A contemporary glazing system will not only provide a clean and architecturally sensitive primary facade but will enhance the thermal performance of the building and its internal environment."

The aim of the proposals are to help the economic viability of the theatre "to evolve and grow with the changing requirements of entertainment and catering venues in order to remain an important economic focus in Felixstowe and wider area".

The design also makes the best use of the sea views available both for diners upstairs in the restaurant and in the cafe below.

The extended facilities - around 218 sq m in total - will be open daily until 6.30pm and until 11pm on show nights. The project could create 18 new jobs. 

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