An exciting new vision for the future use of a former pub that has stood derelict in Haverhill town centre for more than two years has been put forward.
Haverhill property company CXG want to see the Bell, in High Street, transformed from the eyesore it has become since being boarded up in November 2013 and sold by the Greene King brewery, into a restaurant or bar, with a hotel above it and a courtyard of shops, bars and bistros at the rear.
Planning permission was granted by St Edmundsbury Council in February 2015 to S2 Estates for the building to be converted into a shop on the ground floor, with two flats in the existing building and another nine at the rear.
That vision has now changed in the wake of CXG acquiring the building for clients last November.
Daniel Pilley, the CEO of the CXG Group and the manager of the project, said: “For too long now Haverhill has had this stigma of being a small town with nothing to offer.
“But that is just not the case, there are big plans for Haverhill and in the near future this town is going to see a rapid increase of homes, business and facilities coming to its door step and we want to be part of that.
“The Bell is in an excellent location and so we feel we should produce something for the town, not just another block of flats.”
CXG proposes to rent out the ground floor to a restaurant or bar whilst turning the upstairs back into a hotel.
Behind the building itself is a large plot of land that is currently going to waste, but the proposed plan for this area is probably the most exciting of them all.
CXG are proposing the idea of a courtyard in which people can enjoy new shops, bars and bistros, which would create a social hub that draws people into the town both during the day and evening rather than forcing them to continue having to seek this type of place further afield.
The plan is a big one and has definitely stirred up excitement already.
When CXG released their plans via Facebook last week 11,000 people saw the post drawing an influx of likes, comments and shares.
James Pilley who heads up the marketing department at CXG said: “It just goes to show that the people of Haverhill really do care
about the town and are ready for improvements to be made.
“I think the proposal, if approved, will definitely create a buzz and bring life back to the town.”
The Bell has been around since the 1800s, once acting as a resting place for travellers on their way to London on horse drawn coach.
CXG and it’s clients are keen to modernise the area whilst still honouring the history and heritage of the site.
Anyone interested in leasing the restaurant in the main building should contact CXG on 01440 712216.