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Decision to be made on plans for 50 retirement flats in Bury town centre

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 November 2019

The former Lloyds bank in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, eyed for 50 retirement apartments. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The former Lloyds bank in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, eyed for 50 retirement apartments. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans to create dozens of retirement apartments in the centre of Bury St Edmunds are being recommended for approval.

Churchill Retirement Living proposes to construct 50 apartments on land occupied by the former Lloyds bank in Risbygate Street - 34 being one-bedroom and 16 two bed properties.

The plans had previously been recommended for refusal, before developers made amendments to the design, scale and layout, with planning officers now suggesting the plan is approved at next week's development control committee meeting in Mildenhall.

In its application, the developer said: "It is considered that the scheme has been designed to be sympathetic to the local context and respond to the varying character of this part of Bury St Edmunds.

"The proposed building has been carefully designed to provide a high quality development that responds positively to the scale and context of the vicinity and will improve the current existing vacant site."

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Officers have suggested 39 conditions for approval, including a condition that the properties are only occupied by people aged 60 or over so that it is only occupied by people for whom it is designed.

The plans have received some concerns over the height of some of the properties, while Anglian Water said the surface water plan was "unacceptable".

Historic England said: "The proposal does raise concerns in terms of effect on the historic significance of the conservation area because of the scale and massing, however, there is no objection on heritage grounds," and added that it had no objection to the amended plans.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council said it objected on the grounds of overlooking from the height of the buildings and poor design, even after the amended designs were submitted.

A previous proposal for 55 apartments made by Brown and Co was lodged in March 2018 but withdrawn after resistance from locals.

If approved, the development must commence within three years of permission being secured.

Approval is also dependent on financial contributions being agreed, with around £15,000 understood to be the contribution for expanding the nearby Angel Hill surgery.

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