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Plans announced for demolition of long-vacant Goodfellows apartments in Bury St. Edmunds and redevelopment of the site
Plans announced for demolition of long-vacant Goodfellows apartments in Bury St. Edmunds and redevelopment of the site

A long-vacant eco-housing block on the edge of Bury St Edmunds town centre could be demolished and replaced with apartments and houses.

M&D Developments has submitted plans for the Goodfellows site in King’s Road/Parkway, which it bought from Havebury Housing Partnership in March.

The award-winning 12-apartment building complex, which has been praised for its environmentally friendly and sustainable construction but criticized for its appearance, stood vacant for over three years after tenants were forced to relocate due to undisclosed problems with the building.

Goodfellows in Kings Road/Parkway, Bury St. Edmunds. Image: Mark Westley

A planning document for West Suffolk Council states: “Since the building was constructed, there have been a number of issues with the infrastructure and construction. A detailed analysis has shown that the cost of the repairs required would not be viable.”

“Based on the results and the cost of remedial work to make the building habitable, it was decided to demolish it and build a new building on the existing site.”

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The proposal includes three one-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom apartments and three three-bedroom houses.

An artist’s impression of the proposed development on the Goodfellows site in Bury St. Edmunds. Image provided by M&D Developments

Access to all properties would be from the street frontage, leaving gardens/areas to the rear.

The new development would retain the three-story building height of Goodfellows, built in 2008.

It won a RIBA East Sustainability Award and a Suffolk Association of Architects Design Award in 2009.

Goodfellow was the surname of the family who lived at 141 Kings Road, which was demolished to make way for the apartments.

In April, David Harris, director of M&D Developments, defended Havebury’s decision to sell the building.

He said: “We estimate that it will cost in excess of £1 million to bring the accommodation into an acceptable condition. However, this means that the main structure of the building only has a lifespan of 15 years.”

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“Should Havebury have invested a significant amount of money to provide accommodation for a relatively short period of time?

“They decided to sell the building and reinvest the capital in affordable housing units on site that would have a longer lifespan, a smart business and a smart decision.”

M&D Developments in Hengrave has worked with Thurlow Architects on the Goodfellows project and has overseen numerous regeneration projects in the area, including the former Blomfield House health centre in Bury St Edmunds, and is progressing with planning for the former sites of St James Middle School and St Louis Catholic Middle School in the town.

By Isla