The sale of a Suffolk art club's former premises on the open market has moved a step closer after councillors agreed to the proposal. 

Town councillors in Woodbridge discussed the situation with Woodbridge Art Club's former home at 15 Tide Mill Way at a meeting on Wednesday and accepted a recommendation from the council's property working party to sell the building.

However, a final decision on whether to sell is dependent on the results of a 28-day public consultation, which is set to go ahead in May, inviting people to give their views on the plan.

READ MORE: Woodbridge venue used to be home for Woodbridge Art Club

The idea of selling has arisen because of concerns about the cost of roof repairs, which are likely to be between £60,000 and £100,000.

No funds had been set aside for this work in the council's 2024/25 budget, while any loan taken out to cover the cost would need to be repaid, with revenues derived from the building unlikely to meet these repayments.

The result, the council's property working party feared, would be that taxpayers would have to pay for the repairs.

READ MORE: Woodbridge Art Club is set to leave its Tide Mill Way home

The club has now moved to different venues after its lease expired on March 31 and having been told that it would not be able to renew as the primary leaseholder as the town council sought to make the venue available for other community organisations.

A covenant - or written agreement between the council and buyer - could be imposed on any sale requiring the building to be made available for community groups.

In March, the EADT revealed the club's 'deep sadness' at having to move, with chair Jean Maxwell saying members hoped to eventually return to Tide Mill Way, if necessary by renting a space each week.

READ MORE: Woodbridge Art Club's lease at Tide Mill Way is set to expire

Earlier this week, she said: "I have been made aware that the building renovated, maintained and used by the Woodbridge Art Club for 50 years is now to be discussed again by the town council, with the suggestion of putting out for public consultation the potential sale of the building.

"This news follows our losing our lease which caused considerable local distress. We have made previous offers and many suggestions and hope they will make urgent contact with us to re-establish negotiations.

"It is essential that the heart and soul in the building remains as an artistic presence in the Whisstocks."

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