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Plans lodged for former Mulberry Tree pub in Ipswich to become community centre

PUBLISHED: 16:48 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 05 September 2018

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

An historic Ipswich pub dating back more than 130 years could be turned into a community centre if plans are approved.

The Mulberry Tree pub, Ipswich, as it was in the 1970s Picture: ARCHANTThe Mulberry Tree pub, Ipswich, as it was in the 1970s Picture: ARCHANT

A planning application was lodged to Ipswich Borough Council last week proposing to convert the empty Mulberry Tree pub in Woodbridge Road into a community centre, called the Nawracy Cultural Centre.

Few details have been submitted in the application, but it is proposing to make minor alterations to the interior.

A spokesman for the applicants has been approached, but was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The Grade II-Listed pub closed in July last year, after being put up for sale by its owner.

The original pub opened in the 1880s, with the current building dating back to 1928 when it replaced the original Mulberry Tree pub which stood just in front of it.

After more than 100 years of business its name was changed to the Milestone Beer House in 2002, before being renamed just The Beer House in early 2010.

Two years later it re-opened under its original Mulberry Tree name following a revamp, before its closure for the final time last summer.

The pub was also one of dozens across Suffolk to have been a part of the historic Tolly Cobbold operation, with records confirming it was under the brewer’s ownership as far back as 1924 and still was in 1961.

The Mulberry Tree pub has a long history dating back to the late 1880s Picture: ARCHANTThe Mulberry Tree pub has a long history dating back to the late 1880s Picture: ARCHANT

The latest plans are currently in the consultation phase where comments and feedback can be submitted by October 3, after which the proposals will go to planners for consideration.

It is not yet clear if will be decided by full planning committee or planning officers.

Planning applications could previously just request a change of use, but now require full planning permission as part of measures to help keep pubs open.

The application marks another stage of redevelopment in the area, after Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee approved proposals in May to convert the former Odeon cinema – which had lain empty for 13 years – into a new facility for Hope Church.

The Mulberry Tree was a former Tolly Cobbold pub Picture: ARCHANTThe Mulberry Tree was a former Tolly Cobbold pub Picture: ARCHANT

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics this month revealed the extent of pub closures in the county, with Ipswich having lost more than a quarter of its pubs since 2010.

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