Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft magistrates’ courts could shut under plans – leaving only Ipswich

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court - Credit: Gregg Brown

Less than 20 years ago there were 10 magistrates’ courts across Suffolk – but soon there could be just one left hearing cases.

Proposals for consultation announced yesterday by the Ministry of Justice have earmarked a number for closure, including two of the last three in Suffolk.

Both Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft could be left without the courtrooms meaning people in west and north Suffolk would be faced with round trips of dozens of miles when visiting their ‘local’ court.

Colchester in Essex could instead lose its county court; the nearest alternative for those in the town and in Tendring district is in Chelmsford.

One solicitor has said the proposals could leave the country with a barely functioning legal system.

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