After six years work can now start on Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road as land deals completed

Moreton Hall

Moreton Hall

Six years since a “vital” Bury St Edmunds relief road was announced, the final land deals have been completed – “unlocking” land for thousands of jobs, hundreds of houses and a £275million boost to the economy.

Caption: L-R Chris Starkie of New Anglia LEP, Suffolk County Cllr Robert Whiting, Stephen Clark of C

Caption: L-R Chris Starkie of New Anglia LEP, Suffolk County Cllr Robert Whiting, Stephen Clark of Churchmanor, Sir George Agnew of Rougham Estate, Andrew Wilson and Mark Edmonds of Taylor Wimpey , Cllr John Griffiths and Cllr Sara Mildmay-White of St Edmundsbury Borough Council. - Credit: Archant

Six years since a “vital” Bury St Edmunds relief road was announced, the final land deals have been completed – “unlocking” land for thousands of jobs, hundreds of houses and a £275million boost to the economy.

The £15 million Eastern Relief Road (ERR) project allows a business park, new secondary school and 500 houses to be built next to Moreton Hall estate.

Negotiations with landowners Rougham Estate have delayed the road for nearly two years, but land deals were finally signed yesterday.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council, who are leading the project with developers Churchmanor Estates, have been negotiating with the landowner for 18 months – last year authorising compulsory purchase powers as a “last resort”.

The Eastern Relief Road

The Eastern Relief Road - Credit: Archant


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The compulsory purchase powers were not used, with Rougham Estate reaching a deal with the council yesterday.

Borough leader John Griffiths welcomed the “major” milestone for the project. “This is a road that will help deliver the Suffolk Business Park, and with it an estimated 14,000 jobs to the area, as well as £275m of inward investment... over the next 25 years,” he said.

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“It has been a long and sometimes bumpy journey but I’m absolutely delighted that the end is now in sight.”

The new road will connect the junction of Skyliner Way/Lady Miriam Way with junction 45 of the A14. Suffolk County Council are now looking to issue a contract but were reluctant to give a completion date.

County leader Colin Noble said he was “delighted” to sign the land deals, adding: “This has been an extremely complex series of negotiations – this is a really significant moment for Suffolk and demonstrates clearly that by working in close partnership, we can deliver great outcomes.”

The news was welcomed by the Bury Chamber of Commerce chairman Matt Moss, who said: “It unlocks a huge amount of not only commercial but residential development.

“It will ease some of the pressure along the congested A14. It is great news for Bury and all those involved but also for some of our expanding businesses that currently have nowhere to grow.”

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has invested £10m in the relief road and chairman Mark Pendlington hailed the agreement as “fantastic” news for the town and the whole region.

“This is a truly great example of partnership-working in action, with the LEP and local authorities driving this forward to deliver a vital piece of infrastructure,” he added.

The agreement means planning permission for 500 Taylor Wimpey homes has now been granted. A spokesman said they are hoping to start house building in the autumn after they create access from Mount Road in the spring – the development should take around eight years.

The first section of the relief road will have to be completed before September when the Sybil Andrews Academy secondary school is due to open to new students but no construction start date has been set.

Churchmanor Estates have been working with the borough and Rougham Estate for six years, since the business park masterplan was adopted, and planning permission for the relief road was granted two years ago.

Stephen Clark, Churchmanor managing director, said: “We, with the Rougham Estate, are pleased to have played our part by gifting 25 acres of land to Suffolk county for the ERR.

“It should be recognised that the ERR is also a triumph for St Edmundsbury who have attracted the majority of the finance.”

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