Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: Doubt plan to revitalise Stowmarket’s town centre will ever go-ahead

16:05 24 April 2014

Ipswich Street in Stowmarket

Ipswich Street in Stowmarket

A multi-million pound project to revitalise a town centre is unlikely to ever happen, according to an economy boss.

shares

The much-delayed redevelopment of Stowmarket’s Ipswich Street – which could have seen new national chain shops built – has been thrown into doubt.

Dave Benham, corporate manager for economic development and tourism at Mid Suffolk District Council, said the major project was “doable” in 2008 when the plans were first put forward. But in 2010 the council lost its bid to compulsory purchase the existing buildings in the street which needed to be bulldozed.

Mr Benham said: “Whether it will come back, I will not hold my breath. It was proposed in 2008 when it was doable but after the inquiry went down and the economy changed the circumstances were different – property value plummeted.

“I do not know; I would be pleasantly surprised if it did happen, but I’m not that optimistic.

“If it had happened when it had the chance then it would have worked and been successful. Stowmarket is the sort of place that could have supported it.”

He said the last time the council was in contact with the developer over the plans was around a year ago.

Gary Green, county councillor for Stowmarket North and Stowupland, said: “At the end of the day the markets and experts are saying that things are looking up – there’s a lot of potential to have new shops and flats above them – so it would absolutely be a missed opportunity.

“The town, despite reports, is not doing too badly – there’s not many empty shops – there’s a number of estate agents and charity shops but if you look around all towns have them.”

He said the council had told him major retailers were often interested in towns when their population exceeded 20,000 – a number Stowmarket is hovering around.

Mr Benham said the way shoppers spent money was changing and had impacted upon the number of developers keen on major projects.

Sharon Brown, town centre manager for Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership, said: “If we want growth in the town centre we need change because the structure of the town has changed very little over the last few decades but surrounding the town are huge developments like Cedars Park and Chilton Leys, which is being built.

“The housing is huge but the shops are not keeping up with it, we need more shops and more choice.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Ed Hawkins has been training celebrities for the new TV show 'Flock Stars'. Ed is pictured in Chelsworth.

He’s used to the challenges of a life outdoors – braving rain, wind and even snow to look after his sheep in bucolic rural Suffolk.

Figures presented in an operational performance report for the county show that the equivalent of 31 12-hour shifts were spent by ambulance staff treating patients who could not be admitted to A&E within 15-minutes of arrival.

A pig and four chickens have been stolen from a field in Sudbury.

Curve Motion in Bury St Edmunds is a good day out for the kids.

Sadly, rainy days are not a rare thing when it comes to the Great British Summer, so when the heavens open we are well-stocked with things to do.

Carl Robbins

The search for a prisoner who absconded from Hollesley Bay earlier this month is still ongoing.

Don't believe the message that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable

There’s something about Jez (as we hip young things on social media call Jeremy Corbyn) that thoroughly warms my cockles. Perhaps it’s his air of humility, his open-necked honesty or simply his dogged under-dogness?

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home.

Providing care for those in extreme old age, and with serious long-term health problems, is one of the major challenges facing society – especially for an area like East Anglia which has a disproportionately high number of older people.

A stack of straw bales was deliberately set alight in Little Wratting on Monday night.

Dogs line up for judging at the Suffolk and Essex Small Animal Welfare Fun Dog Show.

More than 300 people turned out to support a local animal charity at its annual open day – despite the inclement weather.

Work on assessing the roof at St John the Baptist Church in Needham Market is underway. Ray Levett (PCC member) is pictured whilst Terry Kent (Valiant) and Glen Westley (Maldon Ltd pest control) are looking at the roof.

The first stage of a £250,000 project to repair a Suffolk town’s church roof is under way.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages