Bury St Edmunds: Plans for townhouses at New Shire Hall site are approved

COUNCILLORS have approved plans for six townhouses at a site in Bury St Edmunds despite an objection from English Heritage over the development’s proximity to a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Following a site visit on Thursday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee approved the proposal by Paul Warner, of EA Property Developments Ltd, for townhouses in a car park behind New Shire Hall in Raingate Street.

They would be three and four-storey four or five-bedroom townhouses.

English Heritage had recommended refusal of planning permission, despite amendments to the plans, over the impact on the setting of a medieval wall which formed the southern boundary of the precinct to the former abbey.

But following the site visit, councillor Jim Thorndyke, chairman of the development control committee, said the developer would actually improve the wall by removing ivy and restoring it. He added: “And one thing they did do with that was move the block itself further back on the plot [on the plans], the actual block of the townhouses further back towards the river, so the wall is more exposed for people to see.”

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On concerns from the Bury Society and the Southgate Area Association about increased traffic due to the homes, he said there would be less traffic in the area than when the New Shire Hall site was used as council offices.

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