Call for action at former pub site

A DERELICT “eyesore” which has blighted a Suffolk housing estate for nearly five years could be transformed into a much-needed doctor's surgery.Calls have been made for urgent action to be taken on land previously occupied by the Merry Go Round pub in Bury St Edmunds, which now stands empty and neglected after the inn was destroyed by arsonists four years ago.

A DERELICT “eyesore” which has blighted a Suffolk housing estate for nearly five years could be transformed into a much-needed doctor's surgery.

Calls have been made for urgent action to be taken on land previously occupied by the Merry Go Round pub in Bury St Edmunds, which now stands empty and neglected after the inn was destroyed by arsonists four years ago.

And last night St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Bob Cockle, who serves the Howard Estate, said it was high time improvements were made to the area.

He said concern amongst those living on the estate was growing over the future of the site, while members of HEART, the local residents' association, had given their full support to redevelopment plans during a meeting on Monday.


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“People are very concerned about what is going to happen at the site, which is a complete eyesore,” said Mr Cockle, who also serves on Bury Town Council.

“One idea we have had is to build a doctor's surgery on the land, but any improvements, whether it is a surgery, more shops, or housing, would be better than nothing.”

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The pub was demolished in 2002 after it became a danger to the public following a savage fire which ripped through the building during the previous year.

Carl Scopes, 15, from Bury, was jailed for eight months for starting the blaze, which raged for nine hours and caused £500,000 damage.

The borough council has recently been in talks with the owners of the land, in Olave's Road, to see if an arrangement can be made to develop on the site, including the possibility of building affordable housing.

“A lot of elderly people live on the Howard Estate, and so a doctor's surgery would be the ideal solution, although, as with anything, there is funding to consider,” said Mr Cockle.

“But the first priority is to sort out something with the land owners, which I will be chasing the borough council about.”

A borough council spokeswoman said: “We have had discussions with the long leaseholder about some alternative development on the site, which may include some affordable housing. These discussions are ongoing.”

The matter is due to be discussed at a town council meeting today.

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