Bury St Edmunds: Decision due on bar and restaurant bid

A NEW bar and restaurant could open in Bury St Edmunds town centre if plans are approved at a meeting today.

An application has been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council to convert and extend a building in St Andrew’s Street South to form a new bar and restaurant.

But neighbours to the site, which is near the junction with Robert Boby Way, have raised concerns, saying a bar and restaurant in this location could lead to noise, disturbance, anti-social behaviour, highways problems and odours.

The proposal, which is going before the borough council’s development control committee today, has been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Their report said: “The proposed development constitutes sustainable development within the town centre which would contribute to the night-time economy, enhance the town centre leisure offer and support the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

It added: “The proposed development would not have a significant adverse impact on neighbouring residential amenity, highway safety or traffic generation or raise any archaeological concerns.”

The building in question in St Andrew’s Street South was constructed as an office under planning permission in 2007, but the use has not been implemented.Senior partner Graeme Kirk, writing on behalf of the partners of Gross & Co Solicitors, whose customer and staff car park neighbours the site, said they formally objected to the proposed change of use on a number of grounds, including traffic/pedestrian safety, anti-social behaviour and smell.

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He said since the installation of the one-way system at the bottom of King’s Road significant further traffic now uses Robert Boby Way to access the town and they have noted an increase in the number of traffic incidents at its junction with St Andrew’s Street South

“These are usually low-speed vehicular incidents, but we have witnessed a number of ‘near-misses’ between vehicles and pedestrians.

“A bar/restaurant opening opposite the foot of Robert Boby will create significantly increased pedestrian and vehicular safety issues, he said. The major threat is currently to school-age children and their parents, though at least one recent near-miss involved an elderly wheelchair-user.”

However, the Highways Authority considers the proposal acceptable. Any approval would be subject to conditions, including around the fume extraction and odour system and opening hours.

There would be a condition that the latest the venue could stay open is 11pm.

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