Victoria Hall, the Conservative Club and New Hall

Application DC/19/04892 Victoria Hall /Conservative Club/New Hall Sudbury

The Society believes that any development must respect the character of this part of the Sudbury Conservation Area, particularly when it involves three locally listed non-designated heritage assets.

The structural appraisal suggests that demolition of the Conservative Club and the body of Victoria Hall is essential because of the shallow foundations for these Victorian buildings. That could be accepted as an argument for the demolition of Victoria Hall which also has very considerable level issues inhibiting a successful conversion. Even if the developers set out to retain the present facade to Prince Street it might well prove too unstable to be incorporated in the new interior. In that case we would favour a replacement façade that, whilst recognisably modern, makes reference to the features of the original.

We feel that the present white brick façade of the Conservative Club with its gables and oriel windows is a significant element in the town Conservation Area when looking down New Street and the building should be retained. Renovation might not be easy but its foundations should not be an issue; they have supported the building for over 100 years. That would still allow space for two three storey town houses extending up to the boundary of the adjacent three storey former mill (no 42).

Regarding the proposed replacement frontage to New Street we note the claim in the Supporting Statement Section 6.12 that “the external appearance will match that of the locality, strengthening the material appearance and character of the Conservation Area … through the application of appropriate materials, detailing and finishes.” However, we feel that the use of red brick, red cedar cladding and red roof tiles is totally inappropriate in a street where the dominant materials are white brick, grey slate and black weatherboarding (on No 42). We trust that even if Babergh accept the broad outline of what is proposed they will instruct the developer to come back with a more sensitive and appropriate choice of materials.

We like the new access arrangements to the site and I believe that the reduction in the length of New Hall but the retention of its form would be a sensible solution to this part of the site

Finally we have some concerns about the provision of providing four bedroom houses fronting new Street and Prince Street with doubts about their saleability and market value.