A town council has voted unanimously to recommend the refusal of plans to convert a snooker club described as a 'community asset' into four flats. 

Proposals seeking to convert the first floor of the Sudbury Snooker Club and Function Room at 50-51 North Street, which has been open since 1985, have been submitted to Babergh District Council. 

In documents before the council, applicant D&A Property Developers Limited said planned flats would comprise of two three-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom homes. 

The plans went before Sudbury Town Council on Monday evening where Colin Smith, chair of Sudbury Royal British Legion, which hosts 12 branch meetings and committee meetings and events at the site every year, raised his concerns.

From left: Joey and Ada from Hot Wok, Beverley East from Laundry Goddess, Louise Milton of Sudbury Snooker Club and Sue and John Skinner from The Tile GalleryFrom left: Joey and Ada from Hot Wok, Beverley East from Laundry Goddess, Louise Milton of Sudbury Snooker Club and Sue and John Skinner from The Tile Gallery (Image: Newsquest)

"From the RBL point of view, this has been our home for the last eight years," he said.

"I have been chair and vice chair for the last 15 years and during that time we've had the misfortune of having to move at least four times." 

He said Louise Milton, the manager of the club who was unaware the applicant was submitting the plans until they arrived on the planning portal, had always been welcoming to them. 

"The legion has been in Sudbury since 1921 and we want to stay but we need a home," he continued. 

"For it to close and change use to that would be the loss of another recreational facility within the town when everyone is quite concerned about antisocial behaviour and where the youngsters can go."

Tim Ayrton, director of Number 72, which also uses the club's rooms for events, said: "Sudbury Snooker Club is a wonderful venue. It enables us to step outside of a small premises into a larger one when we need that type of accommodation." 

He continued: "We're looking at a community asset here. The loss of this would be detrimental to the people in Sudbury."

Ellen Murphy, for St Leonard's wardEllen Murphy, for St Leonard's ward (Image: Sudbury Town Council)

Town councillors debated the plans and Ellen Murphy, for St Leonard's ward, said: "My concern is that most towns and villages are losing their community spirit which causes loneliness.

"If there is no where for people to go that means they are even more lonely."

Jessie Carter, for North ward, said: "I don't think anyone wants to see the loss of this and I think it was quite sneaky they way they have done it." 

Jessie Carter, for North wardJessie Carter, for North ward (Image: Sudbury Town Council)

The council voted unanimously to recommend refusal based on, amongst other things, loss of employment, loss of a community asset, and its impact on the existing ground floor businesses.

The council will call for a full planning application to be submitted.