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Bury St Edmunds: Dilapidated building at gateway to town is set to be transformed

13:47 23 May 2014

Old petrol garage on Sicklesmere Road, Bury St Edmunds

Old petrol garage on Sicklesmere Road, Bury St Edmunds

An eyesore at the gateway to a key west Suffolk town is set to be completely renovated.

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The former Southgate Green petrol filling station in Sicklesmere Road, Bury St Edmunds, has stood empty since 2011 and has fallen into disrepair.

Now Warne Motors Bury Ltd have purchased the dilapidated property and applied to rip down the filling station’s canopy and transform the site into a vehicle workshop, MOT testing facility and used cars showroom.

Documents submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council by Plandescil Limited said the change of use and extension of the filling station will allow Warne Motors to expand from their current rented premises on Bunting Road.

Along with a reception/waiting area, administrative and amenity facilities, parts storage will be provided within an extended office building.

The existing forecourt shop is not part of the plans and will be retained, with any future use being the subject of a separate application.

Documents submitted to planners explain the site will no longer be used for fuel sales; the pumps have been removed and tanks and other equipment will be taken out following completion of the decontamination process. So far, as part of that process, 10,000 litres of fuel discovered floating on groundwater along the northern site boundary have been recovered from the site by the use of extraction pumps. Recent groundwater sampling, carried out in March 2014, identified a significant improvement.

Robert Everitt, mayor of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “When you drive from Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds on the Sicklesmere Road, as you approach the town there’s a sign that you are entering the jewel in Suffolk’s crown, so it is somewhat upsetting to see such an ugly, unloved sight. The quicker something gets done the better it will be for everyone.”

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