Stowmarket: Homes plan for disused town pub The Unicorn

PLANS have been put forward that would see an “eyesore” pub transformed into seven new homes.

The Unicorn in Lime Tree Place, Stowmarket, is closed and the proposals have been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council by Gipping Homes to turn it into four flats, with another three new-build properties to the rear.

The Victorian-era building lost its final long-term tenant about five years ago and has since been run by short-term tenants, with the owners finally selling up when the most recent moved out last October.

In a design and access statement, Gipping Homes said: “It is generally accepted that changing social patterns have meant that the demand for pubs, particularly in secondary locations such as this, is increasingly less.

“For the Unicorn to become more viable there would, by necessity, have to be a dramatic increase in the amount of traffic generated, the impact of which on the nearby residents, already suffering from the traffic flow problems, would be dramatic and unacceptable.”

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The Unicorn was built as a “bakehouse” in 1860, according to Stowmarket, Combs and Stowupland Pubs, by Neil Langridge and Brian A Southgate, and soon became a pub, which was sold to Greene King in 1897 for �3,500 – “an unheard of price”.

Minimal changes would be made to the exterior, although the more recently-added shop front would be removed and an additional door put on the front of the building in place of an existing window.

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In a letter to the council supporting the application, one neighbour said: “The sooner Gipping Homes can get on with the project the better, because at the moment the pub just looks (like) an eyesore.”

A decision on the application will be made at a later date, with a target date of April 25 set by planners.

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