‘It’s time now to look again’ - Campaigners call for rethink of plans for Belle Vue Park
PUBLISHED: 18:33 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:33 11 June 2020
Campaigners said it is time to look again after controversial plans for a hotel and restaurant in Sudbury collapsed.
Babergh District Council revealed on Thursday that plans to redevelop the old swimming pool adjacent to Belle Vue Park into a hotel and restaurant had fallen through.
Premier Inn was believed to be among the hotel companies the council was in discussions with.
Now, however, the council says it will be forced to go back to the drawing board, which will also have an impact on regeneration works elsewhere in the town.
Robert Lindsay, leader of the Green group of councillors on Babergh District Council said he was relieved by the news.
“It’s time now to look again at the whole plan for Sudbury,” said Mr Lindsay.
“We need to look at community uses for that area of the park which are compatible with a post-pandemic world – such as a wildlife garden, or open air café - and look at the whole regeneration plan for Sudbury and the Hamilton quarter from a more bottom up, local approach.”
Sudbury town councillor and campaigner for Belle Vue Park, Rescue, Restore and Revive group, Louise Fowler, said: “This is fabulous news for those that have been actively campaigning to retain our community recreational space for well over a year.
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“It would be amazing for the space to now be used for family recreation facilities and then, if there was a need for an additional hotel in Sudbury in the future, there must be a much more appropriate location.”
However, not everyone was pleased by the announcement.
Leading Suffolk politician Lord Andrew Phillips said he hoped that the withdrawal would be reconsidered.
“It’s a real setback,” said Lord Phillips.
Lord Phillips said that the town needed such accommodation particularly as the town looked to make the most of its local offerings.
He said: “It’s got amazing attractions. Gainsborough’s house is a big draw and will become a much bigger draw when it’s complete.”
Lord Phillips said that he hoped the company could be convinced to change its mind.
“I am hoping that they will re-think quite quickly,” said Lord Phillips.
“I have not given up though.”
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