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Last week the owner of Clare Antiques and Interiors was granted permission to transform the Malting Lane Centre into nine luxury flats.

However, a spokesman for the centre insisted to the ATG that for the time being there were no plans for dealers to vacate the premises for at least "a year and half or two years".

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee voted in favour of the renovation last Thursday despite objections from Suffolk County Council and Clare Castle Country Park Trust that removing the centre will have a negative impact on local amenity, parking and income.

The owner, Chris Marchant, has insisted that the new housing will help the area. According to the East Anglian Daily Times, the owner said during a council meeting: “Are you saying it’s more important to sell used furniture from that massive site than it is to give youngsters the chance to buy their own homes?”

The representative from Clare Antiques and Interiors said that the decision “made sense” from the owner’s point of view as it would increase the value of the property. But he added that for now, at least, it is business as usual for the centre.