New homes planned for town centre warehouse

The Newgate Carpets warehouse, which could be demolished, with the business relocated. PHOTO: Google

The Newgate Carpets warehouse, which could be demolished, with the business relocated. PHOTO: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A town centre warehouse could be demolished to make way for three new homes.

The warehouse, on Newgate in Beccles, which had previously been rejected for redevelopment, could be transformed into a trio of three-bedroom homes.

The building is currently the base for Newgate Carpets, who will relocate from the site and will continue operating.

Proposals submitted to East Suffolk Council's planning department state: "The existing commercial building, which has the benefit of a retail warehouse use, is approximately 167m2 and approximately one third of this comprises a dilapidated timber outbuilding which is currently not fit for purpose.

"Additionally, the whole building is now in need of major repair, refurbishment and improvement.

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"The site is in a very sustainable location. All amenities on offer in the market town are located within a short walking distance.

"Retail, leisure and employment opportunities are within easy reach."

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Each of the homes will have two parking spaces at the front of the site, as well as a shed for bike storage to the rear.

All three proposed houses will include three bedrooms, with one over two storeys and the other two over three storeys.

The proposal acknowledges several key issues, including the impact on the town centre and on the appearance of Beccles Conservation Area and nearby listed buildings.

While the current building is considered "of no architectural significance and does not make a positive contribution to the Newgate streetscape," a number of buildings nearby have historical significance.

In 2017, the then-Waveney District Council rejected a proposal to demolish the building and construct a retail unit with four homes and on-site car parking, amid fears of a negative impact on listed sites.

The new proposals place the development further away from the road, allowing for a front garden while reducing the impact on Ravensmere House, a Grade II listed building.

The application states: "The industrial building to be demolished is unremarkable and makes a limited, if any, contribution to the character of the Conservation Area.

"The rear of the site is an unattractive, neglected space which has a negative impact on the neighbouring listed buildings and the conservation area.

"We believe the development represents an acceptable solution, preserving and enhancing the character of the Conservation Area and the setting of neighbouring listed buildings."

The site has served as a furniture warehouse and retail unit since 1984.

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