Grace Baptist Church, the Tarantella (Sudbury Hall)

B/14/00229/FUL     Grace Baptist Church New Street. We oppose the proposals to replace the original timber vertically sliding sash windows with upvc versions. The building, dating from 1858, is on the Sudbury Local List, adopted by Babergh District Council, 14 September 2004. It is also featured in the Society’s publication Sudbury Suffolk-the unlisted heritage. It is also within the Conservation Area The windows are finely detailed and with their brick reveals a striking feature of the building. They could not be satisfactorily replaced with timber windows and certainly not with upvc equivalents without seriously diminishing the building’s character. It is a heritage asset and NPPF 131 is relevant. There are firms who would overhaul the windows and add weatherstripping which would be at least as thermally effective as thin double glazing, although secondary glazing could be considered in addition provided the glazing section were slender. B/14/00379/FUL Sudbury Hall Melford Road. This building is similarly Locally Listed and featured although it is outside the Conservation Area. The Main House was built in 1840, the additions date from 1973. It has lain derelict since being seriously damaged by fire in 2008, and by subsequent vandalism. We are very pleased to see these proposals to restore it and convert it to provide 12 residential apartments. We understanding this change of use from a hotel and restaurant has been agreed. We feel the restoration of the building and conversion has been well handled with retention of the main entrance and consistent traditional window treatment throughout both the original house and the later additions. We are particularly pleased to note the cupola reinstated to the new slate roof and used to let daylight into the top landing. Perhaps inevitably the quality of daylight to the lower ground floor apartments is quite poor in places, such as the kitchen areas to the living rooms and the internal passages. Accessibility should be seriously considered at detail design stage despite this being an existing building. Level door thresholds are welcome as a safety feature but occupants should be able to grow older and less able and still manage. Details such as space to approach and open doors towards one should be considered, also bathroom and kitchen layouts and selection of fittings.