£15million relief road project for Bury St Edmunds on course to start in November

An archaeological dig on the site of the planned Eastern Relief Road at Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmu

An archaeological dig on the site of the planned Eastern Relief Road at Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds is underway - Credit: Archant

Work on a new £15million road project that will pave the way for major growth in west Suffolk is on schedule to start this autumn.

The Bury St Edmunds eastern relief road (ERR) is part of a wider scheme which will eventually include a new secondary school and around 500 new homes in the Moreton Hall area of the town.

The project will also enable the expansion of Suffolk Business Park and is expected to create up to 15,000 jobs over the next 25 years.

An archaeological dig at the site is already underway and construction work on the road – which will link the east of the town and the planned 140-acre business park extension to junction 45 of the A14 – is expected to begin in November.

Property developer Churchmanor Estates Company which is partnering The Rougham Estate has been working closely with Suffolk County Council to facilitate the archaeological dig and site clearance.

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To accommodate the new road, Churchmanor is providing 25 acres of Rougham Estate land with adjacent landowner Taylor Wimpey providing a further 5 acres. The Rougham Estate will also contribute 40% of the land for the business park extension, with Taylor Wimpey providing 60%.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council secured funding towards the road with the Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the county council.

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Borough council leader John Griffiths welcomed the news that work would start on the relief road this autumn. He said it would lead to high end jobs growth, put money into the pockets of west Suffolk families to spend locally and create opportunities for future generations.

He added: “It really is very good news. It brings us yet closer to delivering the school and associated sporting facilities, the 500 new homes and the expansion of the business park which will in turn bring inward investment and better transport links to Bury St Edmunds and west Suffolk.

“I would like to thank all those involved for working to bring this project forward.”

Stephen Clark, managing director of Churchmanor, said: “We have not allowed progress to slow down and have been working with Suffolk County Council to provide support as they progress the design and delivery of the eastern relief road.

“Site investigations have been undertaken over the past few months and the completion of the archaeological dig will pave the way for the ERR to commence once a contractor has been appointed by the county council.”

A construction company is expected to be chosen shortly and the road will take around a year to complete.

Lisa Chambers, the county council’s cabinet member for education, recently said she was confident the new secondary school – which will be built for 600 students, growing to provide 1,400 places as housing is developed across the town – will be ready to open in September 2016.

Blob par: Finds including Prehistoric ditches and decorated pottery from the Bronze Age have been discovered during the archaeological dig at the relief road site in Moreton Hall. The base of a clay kiln was uncovered this week, which could date from just after medieval times although this is still to be confirmed.

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