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West Suffolk Council education plans for Provincial House, in Haverhill, given final stamp of approval





Plans for the future of education in a Suffolk town have been given a final stamp of approval.

West Suffolk Council applied for planning permission to change the use of part of Provincial House, in High Street, Haverhill, from professional services to the provision of education in December.

The application was considered and unanimously approved last month by members of the council’s development control committee, but went to the committee again yesterday due to a request for an extension to an agreed condition on construction hours.

Haverhill High Street. Picture: Google Streetview
Haverhill High Street. Picture: Google Streetview

The extension, the council report stated, would reduce the possibility of negatively impacting existing tenants during preparatory works due to noise.

The plans, which are set to take up to eight weeks to complete, were again unanimously agreed upon and given the final stamp of approval.

The decision will take part of the council’s £2 million investment into the building and will help West Suffolk College’s Personal and Professional Learning Centre relocate from its current base in Park Road.

During the March meeting Cllr David Smith, who represents Haverhill South, said: “We’ve been waiting long enough for [Provincial House] to be brought back into public use and it will be a great addition to the high street.”

The plans also received the support of Haverhill Town Council, saying it would be an excellent addition to the town centre.

The district council bought the building in 2019 in a bid to retain AXA, a major employer, in Haverhill and to use it to encourage footfall in the town centre.

The works will include stripping out of existing services with proposed new mechanical and electrical services, metal stud partitions, fixtures, fittings and decoration.

Once finished, the project will create 15 full-time roles throughout the whole week and will see the addition of evening and weekend teaching.