A derelict former Royal British Legion (RBL) site in east Suffolk is set to become 58 retirement homes that will bring £450,000 of extra spending to the town's high street, a developer has said.

Churchill Retirement Living has said the conversion of the RBL's former premises, known as Goyfield House, in Mill Lane in Felixstowe, will also "improve health and wellbeing" and "meet the housing needs" of older people.

As well as the extra spending, the plans would save about £264,000 each year for local health and social care, according to the developer, by enabling older residents to live a healthier, safer and more independent lifestyle.

READ MORE: Plans will be submitted for the site in Mill Lane Felixstowe

The apartments will be aimed at local over-60s who want to carry on living independently as they get older, with the developer pledging they would be able to enjoy the safety, support and social life that comes with being part of a retirement living community.

A spokesperson for Churchill Retirement Living said: “Retirement housing is the most effective form of residential development for generating local economic growth, local jobs and increasing high street spend as it brings regular shoppers closer to the town centre.

East Anglian Daily Times: The former Royal British Legion premises has become a target for vandalismThe former Royal British Legion premises has become a target for vandalism (Image: Newsquest)"Our proposed development would help improve the health and wellbeing of those who live there and meet the housing needs of many older people in Felixstowe and the surrounding area.

READ MORE: Former Royal British Legion HQ to be bulldozed to make way for homes

"Our plans to regenerate this previously developed site will also help to reduce the need for greenfield development to meet the urgent demand for new homes in the local area.

"As we prepare to submit a formal planning application, we are keen to gather feedback and give local people the opportunity to have their say on these exciting plans.”

The RBL social club closed in 2020 after declining membership left it in a precarious position financially. It had been in operation for nearly 90 years, dating back to the 1930s.

READ MORE: Felixstowe news

It was a favourite place for former servicemen to meet up socially, had more than 200 members and its bar was highly popular.

The property has stood derelict ever since, becoming a target for vandals who caused a nuisance for nearby residents.

There had been a number of break-ins, graffiti and damage since the legion closed, with police and council officers regularly called to the site.

However, at the start of this month, this newspaper revealed that demolition work had begun at the site, with contractors removing lumps of concrete blocking the driveway and felling shrubs and trees behind the building, while fences had been put up around the property.

A planning application for the retirement homes is being prepared.