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Speculation intensifies over impending plans for regeneration of Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 10:20 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 19 April 2017

Borehamgate shopping centre in Sudbury at the front of where the Hamilton Road development will be. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Borehamgate shopping centre in Sudbury at the front of where the Hamilton Road development will be. Picture: GREGG BROWN

As initial plans for a multi-million pound regeneration project in Sudbury are due to be revealed, speculation is mounting as to what the scheme could include.

Babergh councillors Simon Barrett and David Holland (right) at Borehamgate shopping centre. Picture: GREGG BROWNBabergh councillors Simon Barrett and David Holland (right) at Borehamgate shopping centre. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Three possible ideas for the Hamilton Road quarter are expected to be put forward by Babergh District Council next month after consultants were employed to test the market and asses what would be viable.

Over the past 18 months, the authority has invested almost £5million to acquire the necessary land to bring the plans to fruition, which are widely expected to include a cinema.

The Hamilton Road plans, which have been in the pipeline for more than a decade, will be put forward as part of the council’s overarching ‘vision for Sudbury’.

Babergh employed consultants Mace Green and Carter Jonas to come up with the masterplan. Two different developers subsequently said a cinema should be the focus of the regeneration project.

This week, the subject has been discussed extensively on Facebook.

Steve Hall, who recently stood for election to the town council, said: “Do people seriously think that a cinema and restaurant style regeneration will also encourage footfall to the rest of Sudbury when there is little shopping experience for them to stay?

“We appear to have lost our retail identity both locally and in the ability of encouraging consumers into the town whilst we watch our surrounding towns enhance their retail experience.”

Another local resident said: “I think the shopping complex is a very good idea – just look at what The Arc has done for Bury St Edmunds.”

But Babergh’s portfolio holder for business growth, Simon Barrett said retail may not be viable.

“Consultants are doing some soft market testing to see what’s available, what the market will want and what people are prepared to invest in,” he said.

“We have a consultation coming forward at the end of May and three options are being put forward. People will have a chance to look at those and comment.”

Regarding the idea of a cinema he added: “A good night time economy also supports a town. Other smaller towns like Thetford have a cinema and associated leisure and it works well. If a company is prepared to invest and they think the market is there then why wouldn’t we go with it?”

Bus station relocation?

The Hamilton Road project has proved controversial because Babergh District Council insists the bus station currently based at the site must be moved to make it viable for prospective developers.

The idea of relocating the facility to Girling Street car park with the loss of more than 70 parking spaces was recently dropped by the county council due to public opposition.

It is now believed that the council could be considering installing a number of extended bus stops in Great Eastern Road and at other locations around the town rather than having a designated bus station.

The much needed toilet facilities that were promised as part of a new bus station could still be built into the new Hamilton Road leisure complex, according to Babergh councillor Simon Barrett.

He said: “At this stage we are ruling nothing in or out.

“It’s about what’s best for the regeneration of Sudbury.”

3 comments

  • I've got a few simple points..... Sudbury isn't anywhere near the size of Bury so why compare us to them? And why are we talking about adding more shops to a town that is already struggling to keep the ones it has? Sports Direct is on the way out now....due to Business rates increases according to them apparently. How do the powers that be plan on keeping companies within Sudbury town centre or this star-spangled complex for more than 1 or 2 years at a time? And just a final point regarding stopping busses on Great Eastern Road....has the bright spark that has proposed this ever tried to get in or more especially out of the Kingfisher, Waitrose or Roys on a Saturday...let alone drive through the town? Adding stopped busses onto the road is going to cause utter chaos. Really, there is little need for more in our town at the moment as we can't hold onto what we have and what we do have doesn't work properly. Aesthetically the town looks tired and tatty, the road network is a sat-nav nightmare and is full of potholes and the litter throughout the area is awful. Sort all that out first, then think of something new.

    Report this comment

    Shane

    Friday, April 21, 2017

  • So now we have yet another plan dream't up on the back of a scrap of paper. A cinema in the town centre is a non starter. It is very doubtful that Sudbury would support a cinema annd the town centre is not the place for a modern multisscreen cinema. It would add to congestion and polution in the town centre and just make Sudbury even less attractive. The even dafter idea is to have no bus station, Having buses stopping at random stops around the town is simply not sensible and will add to congestion and polutrion as most buses because of ther distance they operate and the interworking of routes need to layover. It is alsio a fact that bus stations increase the usage of buses and removing bus stations reduces usage by about 10% . That would make several of the routes in Sudbury not commercially viable. There have already been significant cuts to but services in Sudbury with the 111 service going next month and the services 11, 12 & 13 going in August

    Report this comment

    Bill Jackson

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • I would support the proposal to lose the bus station in support of 'extended bus stops' if the location of these are close enough to the train station. The buses should not be sitting idle for 20 mins. They should be moving. If a loss of a bus station were proposed, SCC should also review the routes of the buses. Perhaps a cross town service, for example a Great Cornard to Long Melford service could be introduced, therefore preventing the need to idle in the congested town centre. Night time economy in a town centre is as important as a day time economy, a cinema, bars and restaurants will encourage the use of the town centre (often very underused beyond 6pm). Simon Barrett needs to listen to the people of Sudbury for once, give this town a bus service that can work. Keep it near the train station, keep buses moving - ideally with a replacement bus station. Work with Sudbarians and we will work with you to allow you to develop our bus station.

    Report this comment

    Shauny

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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