Work on building causes concern
A BUSINESSMAN has answered concerns over major works on an 18th century building in Beccles.The building on Blyburgate, which was in recent years a car shop, is undergoing remodelling work to be turned into a shop and a flat, with the building behind being converted into a house.
A BUSINESSMAN has answered concerns over major works on an 18th century building in Beccles.
The building on Blyburgate, which was in recent years a car shop, is undergoing remodelling work to be turned into a shop and a flat, with the building behind being converted into a house.
Members of the town council's planning committee voiced their concerns about building work starting before a decision on the planning application, and about the design. The building, although not listed, is within Beccles Conservation Area.
Brian Taylor said: “They are changing the frontage to such a degree the building isn't going to be the same as it was when they started.”
But Douglas Peck said: “What are we going to do with these old buildings, let them fall down?”
Councillors recommended refusal of the work, saying it was out of street scape.
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Owner Richard Godfrey, who also owns Twyford's caf� in Beccles, said great care was being taken to reinstate a traditional style, including re-inserting two small dormer windows, as well as keeping original features such as fireplaces.
He said work had started urgently before the planning application had been decided, which is not a planning offence and is at his own risk, because parts of the building were found to be unsafe, including the roof. He said he was in close co-operation with Waveney District Council.
Mr Godfrey said the building, which closed as the Red Lion pub in 1959, had fallen into disrepair over the last half-century, adding: “Just because something is old doesn't mean it was well-built.
“We are investing a six-figure sum in the building to restore it. Anything we could keep, we would. What we are doing is positive for the town.”
A Waveney spokesman said it was likely that the proposals will be recommended for planning approval.
He said that in some cases it was right to undertake demolition, adding: “For example in this case, to undo unfortunate modern works to a building's facade. The drawn scheme shows a much better, more traditional front elevation than has existed here in recent decades.”
Mr Godfrey said the works should be completed by mid-April, and that as yet there was no tenant lined up.