Plans submitted to council for restoration of Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds

Work begins to demolish part of Strada in Bury, devasted by fire.
Work begins to demolish part of Strada in Bury, devasted by fire.

Plans to restore and improve the fire ravaged Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds have now been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

And Strada the Italian restaurant that operated inside the building has said it anticipates reopening in Cupola House in the summer next year.

Cupola House

Cupola House

Owner OMC Investments has applied for planning and listed building permission to restore the historic building in The Traverse, back to its ‘pre-fire’ appearance.

It also wants to put in insulation and make internal layout improvements for greater compliance with building regulations.

The Grade I four storey building, which dates back to the 17th Century, was devasted by a fire in June.

The fire broke out in the kitchen. The flames shot up the dumb waiter system – 120 diners had to be evacuated. No-one was hurt.

The original central staircase, the back of the building, the roof and the Cupola itself were destroyed along with a historic panelled oak room.

“The intent is to recreate the external appearance as it was pre-fire, down to details such as the hung tiles on the South gable wall, the globe finial atop the cupola, and the cast iron hoppers and downpipes on the east elevation,” the application said.

“The historic interiors will also be recreated, with the antipation that the building will appear largely as it did before the fire.”

The timber frames are no longer structually sound. A steel frame will be threaded into the fabric of the building.

“Cupola House was an important part of the historic streetscape of both The Traverse and Skinner Street, so its reinstatement is important to the whole town,” the application said.

“It will continue to be so upon completion.”

Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society said: “It seems as if they are going to use as much as possible of the salvaged materials.

“The one thing I would quite like to see inside is something that illustrates the fire – may be some photos.

“The fire is part of the history of that building.

“The Cupola lives again, I’m amazed how quickly the plans have come forward.

“It looks like we will see it restored before too long.”