Plans for a new 334-space car park have been lodged for Bury St Edmunds, just a week before controversial parking proposals across the town are decided.

The former St Benedict's School lower school site in St Andrew's Street has already had plans lodged by M&D Developments for nine homes, but now a separate application to develop the remainder of the site into a car park has been lodged.

In its application, M&D said: "The rationale is clear; to provide parking within easy reach of both the historic centre and the new retail areas of the town without the need to enter the narrow constricted inner town centre roads.

"Recent reviews of car parking in Bury St Edmunds, although somewhat inconsistent, appear to conclude that the Parkway car park is the most sought after location and the only area that suffers stress levels of demand.

"Although a complex issue and open to a degree of interpretation, it must be accepted that the increasing vibrancy and popularity of Bury in recent years with resulting current housing growth can only increase need for additional car parking."

According to the application, task groups at the council suggested that the town is in need of a further 485 car park spaces by 2025, meaning the proposal would represent around 68% of that demand.

The plans propose a new right turn junction off the one-way Robert Boby Way access road.

The application comes just one week ahead of West Suffolk Council's cabinet meeting where controversial changes to parking will be discussed.

Among the plans were the option of axing the Free from 3pm scheme and hefty increases in parking charges at car parks across the town - some by as much as £2.

Campaigners against the changes, including the We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook page and Our Bury St Edmunds business improvement district group warned it could "kill the town" at a time when high streets were already struggling.

The cabinet will make a decision on the proposals, which were also assessed by the authority's scrutiny committee last week, on Tuesday.

The school closed the site at the end of the summer term last year and moved the lower school provision to its upper school site in Beeton's Way.