Bury St Edmunds' Cupola House restoration plan approved

The front of Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds The only part of the building that was not pulled down was the front wall

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Plans have been approved to rebuild a 17th Century restaurant in Bury St Edmunds that collapsed after a fire.

About 120 diners were evacuated from the Cupola House in June 2012, after the fire broke out in the kitchen.

Only the frontage survived and its owner, OMC Investments, wants to restore the building and its rooftop cupola.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's planning committee has voted to grant planning permission.

The five-storey Grade I-listed townhouse on The Traverse, dates from 1693.

It was restored in 2004 at a cost of £500,000 and was being used as a Strada restaurant when the fire broke out.

'Iconic building'

The restoration plan included using a steel frame for the main structure of the building - which used to be timber-framed.

The kitchens would be rebuilt in the cellar with three floors above turned into dining rooms.

St Edmundsbury councillor Robert Everitt, a member of the planning committee and chairman of the Bury area working group, said: "It's important we move ahead as quickly as possible, because the Cupola House is having an effect on the trade of neighbouring businesses, but it will take into account the sensitivities of restoring this iconic building.

"We felt we had enough information to now pass on the plan with confidence to council officers and English Heritage so they can press on with the detail.

"It will be brought back into use as a commercial building but, if required, it could be turned into a residential property."

The council received two objections that the addition of two dumb waiters to the building would compromise its character.

Officers said the plan allowed for them to be installed only after panelling behind them was restored.

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