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New Lease Of Life For Former Beales Store In Beccles

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

The former Beales building on Smallgate in Beccles spanned two different floors and two large buildings in the market town between 2017 and 2020.

But after Beales went into administration in January 2020, the Smallgate branch was closed alongside other regional stores including Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Diss.

Now, a scheme has been lodged with East Suffolk Council for the "subdivision" of part of the vacant building in Beccles.

The plans, which are currently awaiting decision, centre around "Subdivision of the former Beales store into four units, with external works including; three new means of escape doors and a new external grade door set to the Electrical Supply Room".

The scheme has been lodged by agents Ingleton Wood LLP, on behalf of the applicants Panther Securities Plc.

Heritage and planning statements said the proposals include "two elements of work" including "the subdivision of the building to four units".

It states: "This would involve the creation of three units within 22 Smallgate, and one unit within 24-30 Smallgate.

"The intention of the works is to make the building more marketable to businesses, particularly smaller businesses who would want to take on a smaller unit."

It adds: "The subdivision would require minor internal works to block up existing openings.

"Minor external works are proposed as part of this application, with the external door on the northern elevation being the only obvious alteration in the street scene."

Although the building is not listed, the application states "it has been designated as Locally Listed by East Suffolk Council."

With the proposal site measuring around "0.07ha in area", it "covers part of the former Beales department store."

It concludes: "It is considered that the proposal represents a positive development, given the overall objectives for improved local economy in Beccles."

Previously, Beales had run a number of stores across Norfolk and Suffolk, including Diss and Beccles.

It also had two sites in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, having bought out the Palmers chain in 2018.

The former department store in Lowestoft remains vacant, while plans will see the former Palmers building in Great Yarmouth turned into an education hub and library. 

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