Concerns raised over plans to convert former Haverhill nightclub into flats
Plans to turn what was once a Haverhill town centre nightclub into 14 flats have met with objections from the town council.
The council’s planning committee raised the objections during its meeting on Tuesday to the application by Benrose Property to create the flats on currently empty floors above Peacocks and Argos in High Street.
Should the plans go through, it would result in new life being breathed back into what had once been Rush Nightclub, a club that closed more than 10 years ago.
The proposal submitted to St Edmundsbury Council’s planning department is for 11 flats on the first floor above Peacocks, with a further three flats spanning the second floor above Argos and what would be a third level made possible by a dormer extension.
There would be seven one-bedroom flats, five with two bedrooms and two with three bedrooms. Nineteen car parking bays would be marked out for the flats’ occupants in the pay and display car park behind the building.
Councillors objected primarily to the size of some of the flats, which they consider too small, and the fire escape access provided.
In the case of three flats on the top floor, should a fire break out, occupants would have to escape via a spiral staircase through an open plan kitchen/dining/living space and then through another flat’s living space because the three flats only have roof lights .
Their concerns echoed those expressed by Public Health and Housing, whose comments made to the borough council as part of the consultation process said: “Whilst Public Health and Housing would not wish to object to this application in principle, we would raise some concerns with regard to the proposed layout of the flats with regard to the means of escape in the event of a fire and the size of some of the accommodation.
“Whilst it is accepted that there may be some inaccuracy when measuring off the printed plans, the proposed floor areas of the living/dining/kitchen areas within flats one, two, six, ten and 17 appear to be significantly less than the recommended minimum.”