Revamp of Sudbury's Belle Vue park secures backing of council

 An artist’s impression of how the entrance to Belle Vue Park could look. Picture: Babergh District Council

Cabinet on Monday morning agreed with six votes and one abstention to delegate authority to officers to begin the process of securing a contractor for the work. - Credit: Babergh District Council

Work to secure contractors for a revamp of Sudbury’s Belle Vue Park can begin after securing the backing of Babergh District Council’s cabinet – and final funding recommendations will be presented to the council next month.

Cabinet on Monday morning agreed with six votes and one abstention to delegate authority to officers to begin the process of securing a contractor for the work, which will see a new entrance to the park crafted alongside a retaining wall and new café and toilets.

It has also agreed to recommend to full council next month that £1.1million be allocated in funds for the work.

Conservative cabinet member for economic growth, Michael Holt, said: “The council is committed to enhancing the park and facilities within it, and better connecting the park with the wider town centre.”

He added: “We want to make Belle Vue Park an even better place for Sudbury, for our communities now and in the future, and this project is the first step in delivering on that vision.”

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In March, the cabinet agreed to pursue plans for a new park entrance alongside a bid for the old Belle Vue House to be converted into two residential properties and a new-build retirement complex created on the former pool portion.

A stakeholder group has already been formed which includes Sudbury Town Council and the Sudbury Society, with the plan for a public engagement event later in the summer before a planning application for the work is submitted.

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The anticipated £1.12m cash from the sale of the swimming pool site and Belle Vue House has been pledged for developing the park entrance, with contracts on that exchanged in May.

However, some concerns were raised during the meeting.

Independent councillor Margaret Maybury questioned if the entrance was in the right location given the congestion that was sometimes seen nearby, while Liberal Democrat cabinet member for assets and investments, David Busby, said he was “concerned we have not got the full schedule of potential costs”.

“I appreciate whatever scheme we go for there will be works required to provide a decent entrance to the front of the park, but we don’t know how much work would be required if this scheme didn’t go ahead,” he said.

Conservative council leader John Ward said he appreciated concerns but the proposal had been chosen from six presented back in March, and said it would be “a wonderful entrance and help bring new vitality to the park”.

A decision on the funding is due to be made by full council next month.

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