Sudbury’s former Boy’s Grammar School

Below you will find the comments of the Subury Society Planning Group as submitted to the planning authorities.

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Note on Walnuttree Hospital


Revised plans have been submitted by the PJ Livesey Group who have now commenced work on demolishing the buildings which are not part of the original hospital. They have not said who the architects are but they do say they have a track record of this sort of work.


The number of residential units in the core buildings has been increased from 42 to 45 and the number of new houses from 7 to 10. These were of concern because of their height: three floors plus roof. Being smaller, they are more likely to sell and the second floor accommodation is contained within the roof space as we recommended. Furthermore, they are now entered from the main hospital building side with no integral garages, the rear gardens stop well short of the mill race to preserve the ecological qualities of the riverbank and there is no waterside path.

Within the main hospital block, apartments are a mixture of single- and two-storey which ensures that all entrances can be reached from the lift. The old Out-Patients’ building contains four two-storey apartments.


The frontage to Walnuttree Lane is maintained with two entrances, the existing one and a new one serving the ‘street’ between the main block and the new houses.


All in all, the proposals seem an improvement and I have recommended to Sudbury Town Council that they register their approval.


From Stephen Thorpe, Sudbury Society Planning Group

Planning Comments

B/15/01495/ 4 Quay Lane Conversion and extension to form 2 dwellings We are pleased to see these quite sensitive proposals for this prominent though long neglected Locally Listed property. We did not see a reference to an archeological survey but given the proximity to the line of the Saxon Ditch we would strongly urge this.

VICTORIA HALL AND CONSERVATIVE CLUB B/15/01442/ We are pleased that these inadequate proposals have been withdrawn. We have seen estate agents’ marketing of the Granary/Steam Mill as converted to a single dwelling although there is no evidence of work having been undertaken. Since this building is also Locally Listed it would be good to see a new application that took account of the whole group of buildings.

Stephen Thorpe Sudbury Society Planning Group

Planning Comments submitted October 23 2015

B/15/01442/   Conversion of Victoria Hall and Conservative Club to provide 8 self contained flats.
We are extremely pleased to see these proposals to convert this whole complex but we do have serious concerns about them. Both these buildings are Locally Listed but there is a third one, similarly listed, the workshop, which under this application is to be demolished despite its great historical interest for the town. There are no proposals for the space created by its demolition – was part retention considered or is the space to be offered to the adjoining owners?
We appreciate that conversion of these two buildings to dwellings presents enormous difficulties but there is no evidence that an architect’s design and planning skills have been employed. In fact we found the plans particularly difficult to follow and would have appreciated an illustrative description of the strategy employed.
We would in fact recommend that this application be withdrawn and a good, imaginative architect be employed and that our concerns set out here are addressed:
1   that the architectural and historical features of the two buildings are properly respected, and retained, prime amongst these being the gable frontage of Victoria Hall with its triple windows and both signs; the fine oriel windows to the New Street frontage of the Conservative Club and  the chimneys to the latter. Clear and complete elevations of both frontages as proposed would be helpful.
2   that the internal planning of the flats in both buildings is 3   details of new windows and doors, materials and subdivision.
4   resolution of ground floor openings and internal floor levels to Victoria Hall and details of what is to be retained or demolished at the north east corner of the Conservative Club.
5   visitors’ parking is identified but not that for residents.


B/15/01035 New house Deepside Queens Close
This application is for the second house on this steep site with a third to follow. The impact of cars on this cul de sac is likely to be as intense as for the earlier terrace solution and we also feel that an overall site layout should be submitted to establish how this intensified development of three houses will work.

B/15/01190 New house attached to 63 Cats Lane
The character and quality of this development, designed we believe by local artist Paul Earee in his capacity as an architect, has been steadily eroded by unsuitable replacement windows and infill of the recessed and arched entrances. This proposal will have a negative impact on the corner with two car accesses and hardstandings and a close boarded fence to the corner, a rather bleak prospect. One mitigation would be to locate car access to the rear of the garden. This infill development if approved will encourage similar proposals. Is there a planning strategy for this whole development?



B/15/00942/ 3-4 Church Street

While we are not opposed to the application for Change of Use to Residential only we are concerned about the detailed design particularly the treatment of the existing shopfront and anticipate a full application appropriate to a Listed building in the Conservation Area.

B/1501089/ New house adjacent St Mary’s 8 Ballingdon Street

We are surprised that the Council is being asked to respond to two possible sitings for a new house when it would be within the curtilage of no 8 – a Listed building within the Conservation Area. We are not convinced that a satisfactory solution is feasible given such a narrow site width whether the house is built up to the road frontage or is set back with right of access being obtained from the adjoining owners. Certainly we oppose the present application for Outline Approval with all matters reserved.


Planning Comments submitted 14 August 2015


B/15/00948/FHA  7 Reynolds Way  conversion of garage into living accommodation

We are aware that this a typical move by houseowners needing more living space, and that garages tend not be used for cars, but where the owners have more than one car the implications are more on – street parking and/or loss of front garden space to hardstanding. This can damage the environmental and urban qualities of front gardens and unless hardstanding is detailed correctly can lead to flash flooding. Should Babergh have a policy on this to guide houseowners?

B/15/00954/LBC   B/15/00968/ADV   The Royal Oak   external advertising

We are pleased to see the revitalisation of these premises. However the Society which is committed to good design in public spaces regrets that yet again the possibility of good design, of lighting and hanging signs in this case, is lost in favour of bland pseudo traditional solutions.

B/15/00977/FHA   rear extension to 39 Cross Street

We feel that the roof pitch should as far as practicable be steeper than the banal 30 degrees shown and more in keeping with the existing building. Rain water disposal looks unresolved and we think there might be problems with rights of way and a new opening in a historic garden wall.

B/15/00962/LBC   101 Cross Street insertion of new external door

We have no objection to this provided the oak frame and door remain unpainted.

New house on land south of Deepside, Queens Close

We felt when viewing the original application that the two in line parking provision would lead to more on – street parking and it seemed rather mean with a substantial new house. On this second viewing we wondered whether the long term strategy was to negotiate a right of way  past Bridge Terrace to East  Street. What restrictions would be placed on such a development in the planning conditions?


We noted that only one layout had been modified since the public consultation and we feel that our objections and comments submitted in response to the latter remain valid. Is it the intention to confirm publicly the current timescale for realisation of this development?


We do not feel there is a need to fix this to wall brackets and that in case an application for listed building consent should be made.

Mulberry House Stour Street and 47 North Street
B/15/00805/FUL Mulberry House Stour Street
( Mulberry House sits on the corner of Stour Street and Gregory Street)
We are concerned at the increase in the number of residents living in the Mulberry Court/Warner House complex and the consequent reduction in amenity space each tenant will enjoy. This is also an important wildlife habitat in the centre of town. Moreover no effort has been made to explain the need for the extra accommodation.
This site lies in the heart of the ancient Iron Age/ Saxon/early Medieval town. If development is approved it should be made conditional upon prior archaeological investigation of the  site. Just to say that nothing has been discovered misses the point entirely – nobody has looked.
B/15/00911/FUL 47 North Street
No 47 is Locally Listed both for its historical importance and its contribution to the character of the Sudbury townscape. It comprises the former Victorian baker’s corner shop, bakery and three storey corn mill. It has lain empty for far too long and whilst we note the comments of the Economic Development Officer, which imply the possible need for further marketing, we feel that it would only lead to further delay and deterioration in the fabric of the buildings.
Although he site lies outside the area covered by the Babergh Local Plan it adjoins area SD08 where  residential development is included as an option.
We welcome these proposals which will breathe fresh life into these old buildings and the minor changes to the New Street frontage which will improve their appearance. We urge speedy approval of this application.
David Burnett for Stephen Thorpe

B/15/00457/FUL   10 Newmans Road bungalow to rear of existing dwelling

The building proposed is far too large for the site, especially placed conventionally in the middle, with minimal external space around it. If it is intended for retired people then it needs to be planned more carefully as far as approach to doors and circulation are concerned.

B/15/004395/FHA  39 Cross Street rear extension and parking space to front.

We oppose strongly the provision of a parking space in the front garden. 39 and 40 form a single building and the attractive garden is all of a piece with a single gateway serving both properties. The imposition of vehicle hardstanding would severely damage this nice bit of urban space. It does not seem to have been well thought out, the hard surface will slope down to the entrance and there is no indication as to how surface water will be dealt with.
The rear extension would benefit from a steeper roof pitch which should be manageable and would permit clay tile roofing. There are unresolved issues of rights of access in relation to no 40 and 5 Bridge Foot, also the proposed new opening in the historic garden wall. Neither owner seems to have been consulted.

Siam Surgery building – North Street carpark

B/15/00289/FUL  Siam Surgery

While we welcome continued use of this building following Siam’s move to the new Health Centre we oppose the proposed alterations. The building was designed and detailed with care, is still in its original state, and its integrity should not in our view be compromised by simulated timber cladding, brick slips to the entrance piers and altered windows. There is no design statement to justify these changes and the original architects could have been consulted on maintenance or any other issues.
The building lies within the Conservation Area and is being considered for inclusion in the updated Local List.


Crown Building site Newton Road

B/14/01158/OUT Redevelopment of Crown Building site Newton Road

While we welcome provision of housing close to the town centre, we feel this application is premature while development on the Belle Vue site is undetermined including vehicle access and the proposed reconfiguration of the traffic intersection is yet to be revealed.

The design is overbearing, aimed at achieving maximum return at the expense of architectural quality in form and in detail, impact on nearby properties in Belle Vue Road and impact on the view from the town.

Access to flats by a central corridor is quite unacceptable.

We recommend that this application is withdrawn, a good architect commissioned, and a more appropriate, less intensive solution discussed with the planners prior to any formal submission.

Stephen Thorpe

Sudbury Society Planning Group