Flixton Hall Estate, near Bungay, could be restored to its former glory in new plans
A historic country estate in Suffolk could be restored to its former glory.
Permission is being sought from East Suffolk Council to refurbish a building on the Flixton Hall Estate near Bungay - the beginning of a masterplan for the entire site.
The application, submitted by Iceni Projects on behalf of Wendland Ltd, wants to repair and refurbish the Dairy, which served as the historic back of house quarters to Flixton Hall, to use as a private residence, while the rest of the estate is restored.
A heritage and design access statement, prepared by agent Manalo & White Architects, said: "This planning application is the first phase of a larger masterplan, driven by the applicant’s vision to renew and restore Flixton Hall Estate to its former glory.
"This application represents the beginning of a new chapter in the long history of Flixton Hall and its parkland, building on the history of periodic renewal to create a clear 21st century phase of its history."
It notes that Flixton Hall, originally built in 1615, was once 'one of the finest houses in Suffolk' and a theme which characterises the estate is death and rebirth.
Detailing its history, it said an Augustinian Nunnery rose, fell and was dissolved on the land and a massive Jacobean house was built and burnt down, while Sir Anthony Salvin rebuilt the hall but it partly burnt down too during its own construction.
His house, with later extensions by Fairfax Blomfield Wade, was largely demolished in the early 1950s.
The owner is now seeking 'another phase of rebirth' with a masterplan based on 'preserving the memory of, and enhancing understanding of, a largely lost heritage'.
Their aim is to re-establish Flixton Park by 'reinstating and enhancing as many of the original features as possible'.
In a phased landscaping strategy, grassland would be reinstated where possible with a range of planting to encourage biodiversity.
Formal gardens would be brought back to reflect the estate's original historic plans and the return of a deer park is being considered.
The document notes the legacy of the vast estate can be felt in Flixton village and beyond.
It said: "Estate cottages, lodges, even Flixton’s Rhenish church, reflect the once-integral importance of the Estate to local life, and the scale of its sphere of influence."
The statement added: "As a team, we are hugely excited by the potential the estate possesses, and the potential to once more give it rebirth.
"We welcome the opportunity to discuss with the authority how we move forward on this journey."