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Babergh & Mid Suffolk Eye

Green light given for new business hub in Eye


Planning to develop 6 Cross Street have been approved – Photo: MSDC

Plans to refurbish 6 Cross Street in Eye, which has stood empty for over a decade, have been approved by Mid Suffolk District Council.

The transformation of the building will include significant environmental enhancements to meet the Council’s carbon reduction aims – such as using renewable energy to heat the building, and the inclusion of electric car and bike charging points, powered by on-site photovoltaic canopies.

Once completed, the building will provide new offices for Eye Town Council as well as accessible workspaces and a support hub for start-up businesses in the heart of the town.

The building, next door to the new library in Cross Street, was transferred to Mid Suffolk District Council from Suffolk County Council earlier this summer, and the plans to develop the space are part of the wider ‘Invest in Eye’ programme and the Eye Neighbourhood Plan, providing a boost for local business and growing town centre footfall.

Proposals went before Mid Suffolk’s development control committee today, following input from the community and statutory consultees, including Suffolk Highways, and councillors voted by 7 to 1 in favour of granting planning permission, subject to conditions. The Council recognised the challenges around car parking, and these will be considered as part of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils future parking strategy.

The project will cost £330,000, with £195,000 coming from Mid Suffolk District Council, £90,000 of dedicated funding for low carbon projects and £45,000 from the Suffolk Growth Partnership.

Cllr Peter Gould, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for assets and investments, said: “I am pleased that we have received the green light to transform this derelict building in the heart of Eye into a flexible space for businesses to grow and innovate.

“In addition, the ground floor will provide a modern working space for Eye Town Council within easy reach of local residents.”

Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for economic growth, said: “Our plans to renovate this building are part of our Innovate Local scheme to provide flexible, collaborative workspaces for micro and start-up businesses.

“This supportive workspace will be invaluable to help get businesses off the ground, provide job opportunities and support the local economy following the challenging of the Covid pandemic.”

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