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Four homes and two shops approved for old town centre Co-op site in Woodbridge’s Thoroughfare

Closed Co-op premises in The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Closed Co-op premises in The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Four new homes have been approved for one of Suffolk’s most popular independent shopping streets.

The Co-op has been granted permission to replace its old town centre store in The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, with four upstairs flats and space for two retails units on the bottom floor.

The shop has been empty since October, when the Co-op moved across town to a new location taking the place of the former Budgens store, in the Turban Centre.

In February this year, planning proposals were submitted for the Grade II listed building to be subdivided to accommodate two new retail units.

Meanwhile, the rear upper floor would be converted into a one-bedroom flat and pair of two-bedroom flats, accessed via a new entrance from New Street.

A third two-bedroom flat was also planned at the front of the building, overlooking The Thoroughfare.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning officers have now given permission for the homes to go ahead and for the ground floor to become a 242 square metre unit, using the existing entrance and shopfront, and a second, smaller unit with new shopfront and entrance at the back of the building.

The plans were put together and submitted by Ipswich-based building design consultants David Clarke & Associates on behalf of the East of England Cooperative Society.

The firm said the vacant first-floor area to the front of the building had been left unused for a significant period of time and had fallen into a general state of disrepair.

It said alterations to the rear, including the now disused enclosed yard being opened up, would provide the opportunity to enhance the area significantly.

Existing walls and gates enclosing the former service yard for the Co-op will be removed, with the flats at the rear served by a shared lobby area from an entrance opening out onto New Street.

Planning officers said the new shop unit at the rear would be a visual improvement on the service yard and could enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area within Woodbridge.

They were confident that any alterations would not prejudice the special character of the listed building.

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