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Council calls for larger shop area in Bell redevelopment

Thursday, 14th August 2014.

The future of the Bell pub in Haverhill High Street was debated by Haverhill Town Councillors at their planning meeting this week.

S2 Estates Ltd from London have applied to St Edmundsbury Borough Council to convert the closed pub into one shop and 11 flats with associated car parking and landscaping.

The town council received a written objection from resident John Burns, and had concerns about yet another piece of Haverhill history being lost.

Cllr Roger Andre said the building did not appear to be listed and, as a pub, was no longer viable, so they had to consider how its current derelict state affected the high street.

"It has to come into use," he said, "and we need housing, but the parking is a problem."

Cllr Pat Hanlon said there had been a proposal initially to gain access by a bridge over the Stour Brook at the rear, but this had been vetoed by planning officers.

He thought that was completely wrong because it now led to an access where 22 more cars would be coming into the high street at a time when they were trying to keep traffic out.

He also said the town did not need another small shop because there were already lots of them, many vacant. What was need was a much larger shop premises to attract aed bigger retailer.

Cllr Clive Turner said if the the Bell was removed the town would lose some of its history. If we kept losing more and more of the character of the old market town we would be losing something important.

"I don't want to see another classic buildfing of the town disappear," he said. "We should keep the facade of the building at least."

Members agreed to object on the grounds of access and that there should be more shop area and fewer flats.

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