300-year-old maltings to get revamp

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A HEAD to toe revamp of an 18th century building will go ahead after plans were approved.

The Old Maltings in The Street, Barton Mills, will be transformed after Forest Heath District Council rubber stamped plans to change it into housing on Tuesday.

The 300-year-old building will be converted into four two bedroom houses and one five bedroom house, with parts of the original structure to be retained.

Overwhelming support was received for the scheme from consultees, including Barton Mills Parish Council.

Cllr Pamela Boura said it would be far better to see the building being used than remaining derelict.

“We would much rather have a nice development there that can be used than what is currently there. It’s a bit of an eyesore.

“I think people are delighted to see plans being made for the site,” she said.

The refurbishment will keep features from the Old Maltings, including original brickwork.

The site is adjoined by Grade II listed buildings on either side - the Mill House and The Olde Bull Inn - and backs on to the River Lark.

A Heritage Assessment by Suffolk County Council’s archaeology department describes the maltings as being part of ‘an important industrial and commercial centre’ during the 18th century.

However, the report goes on to state that subsequent building work had devalued the site’s historic significance.

It said: “Maltings of this early period are rare survivals, but unfortunately this example was extensively altered and partly rebuilt in the mid-20th century when it was converted into a storage facility for the mill.”

The building was last used as the head office of the Willhire vehicle rental company who converted it into offices.