Sudbury summit planned to discuss next steps for town regeneration projects
PUBLISHED: 08:19 21 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:19 21 June 2020
The future of key regeneration schemes in Sudbury is to be examined at a summit of town bosses following the collapse of a major hotel project.
Babergh District Council confirmed this month that the project to revamp the old swimming pool by Belle Vue Park had collapsed after negotiations with the hotel chain had stalled.
The council said it would also revisit the plans for a new use of the nearby Belle Vue House and Hamilton Road quarter regeneration because they were both linked to the hotel scheme.
Now, the authority has confirmed the timeline for the next steps.
A spokeswoman said: “It is important that we take time to review the opportunities for Belle Vue House, Belle Vue Park and Hamilton Road as part of the wider vision for Sudbury. The next steps for the town will be presented to the Sudbury Vision working group and steering board when they meet in July.”
To date, around £150,000 has been spent on the now defunct hotel project, but the council said some of that was on work which can still be used for future plans regardless of its future use, such as investigation work and surveys on trees, utilities and highways.
It is understood about half of the cash was work in the run up to the What Next in Sudbury exhibitions held at the start of the year which included artist impressions, detailed plans and feedback on the hotel proposals.
It has already been confirmed that other regeneration projects in Sudbury such as the £2.5million improvements at St Peter’s Church and the multi-million pound project for a gallery at Gainsborough’s House were not affected by the changes.
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But questions have been asked by Bream Real Estate, which has been involved in drawing up the plans for Belle Vue House into 15 apartments, as to why that project needed to be rethought.
James Glerum, chief executive of Bream’s UK and central eastern Europe operations, said: “We felt that it was disappointing that the council felt it necessary to withdraw from progressing the other sites [Belle Vue House and Hamilton Road].
“We can understand their disappointment in not being able to continue with the hotel development, but hotels will not be taking up new properties in the next 18 to 24 months; it was not necessary to withdraw the Belle Vue House proposals.
“It’s a handsome building and we are ready to bring it back to life. It would be disappointing to see it deteriorate further.”
“The council has indicated they will now go in to discussions with the town council and other stakeholders for the next two months but my concern is it is two months we can ill afford at the moment with rising unemployment and declining inward investment.”
Responding to the concerns, the council said: “The previous opportunities for Belle Vue House were considered as part of wider plans for Sudbury, including the hotel and restaurant development.
“Now the hotel isn’t progressing we need to review both elements of this site together with other nearby sites to maintain our holistic vision for the area which potentially offers even more scope for the house’s future.
“As we take stock and consider the best opportunities for Sudbury, we are committed to providing security for Belle Vue House and maintaining the park for the community.”
Other uses of Belle Vue House mooted over the last year included a health and wellbeing centre, sheltered housing and heritage centre and cafe,
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