Stowmarket: Town nightclub could be turned into homes

PLANS have been put forward to turn a popular town centre nightclub into 15 flats and houses.

The proposals would see the 750-capacity Xcel Entertainment Complex in Station Road East, Stowmarket, transformed.

The club remains open as usual while the owners of the former maltings site explore the potential change, with planning officials set to make a decision by May 9.

The malthouse at the site is a listed building and would have to be preserved if any development took place.

The plans were submitted to the council earlier this month and a consultation period has opened, giving people until April 16 to provide feedback on the proposals.

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The intention is to convert the maltings, mostly built in the 1990s, into a development comprising six houses, with either two or three bedrooms, and nine flats. In a design and access statement submitted with the planing application, prepared by Diss-based agents TW Gaze, it is explained that the oldest part of the site would be split into two town houses “without affecting the historic fabric” of the property.

Lesley Mayes is a district councillor for Stowmarket and the town council’s portfolio holder for the regeneration of Stowmarket.

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She said the town council had been given a presentation on the proposals during a meeting about two months ago, and members had been receptive to the idea.

She said: “We did discuss it and I’m sure we, as a town council, thought the idea was good. The town council would like to see properties within the town.

“We have to bear in mind there are people who will want to live near the station or their place of work and we think homes within the town centre is a good idea.”

Xcel Nightclub operates over two floors, with space for 500 people on the ground floor and another 250 on the upper level. It is to remain open for the foreseeable future and will be taking bookings as normal.

Nobody at the venue was available for comment last night.

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