New antiques shop for former Red Cross building?
PUBLISHED: 14:23 29 July 2020
A former British Red Cross building is set to get a new lease of life as an antiques shop - if a planning application is given the go-ahead.
A new planning application has been entered for the former British Red Cross Headquarters in Theatre Street, Woodbridge.
The Red Cross left the site back in 2016, leaving the site empty for the past four years.
With the charity having no use for the building, an application has been made to East Suffolk Council which would see it turned into an antiques, vintage and collectable shop, with furniture also being sold from the store.
As well as selling goods from the shop, the applicant also hopes to provide a delivery service to the surrounding area.
The ground floor would be used for retail sales and some furniture restoration.
However, the applicant specified that these would not be major works with noisy machinery.
The first floor would then be largely used for storage purposes.
The applicant suggested that the proposed plans for the building would represent an “appropriate use” of the currently empty site, given its size and the amount of space it offered for both storage and delivery services.
They said that the creation of the new store would provide “economic benefits” to the riverside town.
The plans submitted to East Suffolk Council suggest that no changes will take place to the exterior appearance of the property, “with no works to be carried out inside or outside other then decoration”.
The Theatre Street building opened in February 1975, providing a headquarters and training centre for the charity within the town.
In its final years, it was home to a medical equipment loan service and a group of volunteers who provided first aid for public events.
Following the closure of the site, all the charity’s work was moved to Ipswich.
At the time, charity bosses said it was important for the British Red Cross to move out of what it described as “underused buildings” so they could make the most out of money donated to the charity but recognised volunteers would have to travel further.
Planners at East Suffolk Council will make the final decision on the latest plans for the site in due course.