Go-ahead for town's old police station to be converted into flats
- Credit: GREGG BROWN
Plans to convert Felixstowe's former police station into flats and commercial premises have been given the go-ahead.
The historic landmark at the junction of High Road West and Glenfield Avenue has been vacant for more than three years since being put on the market for £1.5million and the police moved in with the fire service across the road.
Earlier this year Pinn Homes Ltd withdrew its plans to regenerate the building with nine flats, a restaurant and a shop.
But the company returned with new plans - again for nine self-contained flats but with two commercial units with the uses not specified.
Now the proposals have been given the go-ahead by East Suffolk Council.
The commercial units - which will front onto High Road West - could be for business and services such as offices, creche, nursery, hair salon, beauty parlour, or even medical use.
The nine flats would comprise eight one-bedroom homes and one two-bed and be of a high quality - much-needed accommodation at the resort.
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The scheme for the former police station - built in 1930 and which has been described as a "particularly fine and intact example of an inter-war police station" - would include 14 car parking spaces for the flats and eight for the businesses, plus 18 cycle holders.
Conversion of the building into flats is well established through previous applications which have been granted.
Even though some residents were concerned that Pinn Homes' proposals for a shop and cafe could exacerbate parking problems in the area, Felixstowe Town Council recommended to East Suffolk Council that approval be given.
ESC planning case officer Grant Heal said the building was a non-designated heritage asset due to its historic and architectural value and many of its features such as the stone surround entrance, engraved date stone, and parapet would be kept.
He said: "Importantly, the conversion to a mix of residential and commercial uses will help to secure an optimum viable use towards ensuring the building's long-term maintenance and conservation."
The property is close to the town centre in one direction and not far from a busy parade of shops and takeaways in the other. The rail station is opposite.
Glenfield Court next door in Glenfield Avenue – a building which was previously accommodation for police officers in training and over the years has also been used to house specialist investigation units - is to become eight flats under already agreed plans.