Register office may become new town home

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PLANS to turn a register office into a home are being considered by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The proposal is to convert the eastern part of St Margaret’s, in Raingate Street, Bury St Edmunds, into a house once the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, which is to move to Angel Hill later this year, leaves its offices.

The building, which forms part of the Old Shire Hall, is Grade II listed and within the Town Centre Conservation Area.

Originally built as a house, it has part of the Abbey wall, an ancient monument, running through it, which the applicant plans to expose by removing plaster-board, before repairing and treating it to prevent further deterioration. He also plans to preserve several fireplaces and plaster moulds.

If the plans are approved, alterations will include removing the link walkway connecting the building to New Shire Hall and replacing it with a window.

Bathrooms would be created on the first and second floors, walls on the ground floor would be removed to form a lounge and kitchen and a staircase and new central heating with a gas-fired boiler would be installed.

The site was bought by Suffolk County Council in 1932 and adapted to provide office space, with major refurbishment taking place in 2000.

It was sold to private ownership in 2009 and has changed hands twice since.