Rally sees protestors pledge to keep up pressure on Belle Vue Park
PUBLISHED: 15:51 06 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 07 April 2019
Campaigners opposed to controversial plans for a hotel and restaurant on part of Belle Vue Park in Sudbury have held a protest rally.
Campaigners opposed to controversial plans for a hotel on part of Belle Vue Park in Sudbury have held a rally in protest.
Around 100 people gathered for the Save Belle Vue Park march to the park where they heard speakers outline why the proposals by Babergh Distrct Council should not go through.
The council wants to build a budget hotel and pub/restaurant and car park on part of the park.
Stuart Poole, who organised the rally said: “It went really well, we’ve had a lot of support.
“We need to keep putting the message out there to the people of Sudbury about these proposals - whenever you explain it to them they think it’s an absolute travesty.
“I don’t think people realise just how much land it is going to take up and the shadow that will cast over the park.
“We now have to keep up the pressure and the campaign until the plans formally go in.”
One protestor was former Sudbury resident Vicky Blackwell, who lived in the town from 1955 to 1979 and had flown from the south of France where she now lives to attend the rally.
She said her father had worked at Belle Vue House as borough surveyor between 1955 to 1977: “It’s very important to me that Belle Vue House, the grounds and the park exist for future generations to come.”
Suffolk County Councillor Richard Kemp, who also spoke at the rally, said the funding model for the project - thought to be in the region of £7 million although the council has not given a figure - would see Babergh borrow the money to build the complex then lease it to the hotel and pub operators over a period of 25 to 30 years.
“I’ve been in commercial property for more than 40 years. In my opinion it’s not a good deal for the taxpayer,” he said.
Babergh has issued an information leaflet where it outlines its proposals for Belle Vue Park and the house.
Under the proposals the house would be sold for conversion into private accommodation, although it has reassured residents that the gardens will be retained.
District council leader Councillor John Ward also outlined the scheme at the annual Sudbury Town Council meeting last month.
Babergh is now preparing detailed plans for a planning application to be submitted later this year.