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Babergh to pursue plan for 58 homes for former Hadleigh council offices

PUBLISHED: 16:03 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:28 26 June 2018

The former Babergh District Council offices in Corks Lane, Hadleigh, is being pursied for housing Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The former Babergh District Council offices in Corks Lane, Hadleigh, is being pursied for housing Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Plans to turn former council offices in Hadleigh into 58 homes are set to be pursued as bosses eye a regeneration of the site.

An artists impression of what the former Babergh District Council offices could like as homes in Hadleigh Picture: PURCELL ARCHITECTSAn artists impression of what the former Babergh District Council offices could like as homes in Hadleigh Picture: PURCELL ARCHITECTS

Babergh District Council vacated its base in Corks Lane in October, when it moved to Ipswich’s Endeavour House as part of cost cutting measures.

A full design and planning team has been working to establish a new use for the area, with homes, commercial office space, care home, retail and leisure all investigated.

Following the assessment, Babergh District Council was last week recommended to pursue plans to turn the site into 58 homes, which was approved.

Frank Lawrenson, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for assets and investment, said: “With easy access to both the town centre and the A1071, this is an important site for Hadleigh and we’re determined to get its future right.

An artists impression of what the former Babergh District Council offices could like as homes in Hadleigh Picture: PURCELL ARCHITECTSAn artists impression of what the former Babergh District Council offices could like as homes in Hadleigh Picture: PURCELL ARCHITECTS

“These comments from the council will be taken to cabinet in the next few months, along with all the other feedback we’ve received, before any further decision is taken.”

Once cabinet has approved the proposals this summer, a full planning application will be submitted in August, alongside assessments on cash for infrastructure improvements and a detailed business case.

The plans propose to retain and convert five listed buildings on the site, as well as part retain and convert an extension built in the 1980s. The rest will be demolished to make way for new builds.

The report said that demand for commercial office space and retail was “very little” and added that the need for homes coupled with its location within commuting distance of London made housing the best option.

The council’s move to Endeavour House aims to create annual savings of around £5.8m for both Babergh and Mid Suffolk, but Labour councillor Luke Cresswell criticised the decision.

“The financial gain we were promised has failed to materialise and after the move to Ipswich, the council is removed and remote from the residents it’s meant to serve,” he said.

Discussions over retaining an unmanned access point in Hadleigh are continuing, but Mr Cresswell added: “In the long run, we’d like to see a full access point in Hadleigh which would be fully staffed and the potential to hold council meetings in our own district.”

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