Campaign group's alternative plan

By Liz HearnshawFRUSTRATED heritage watchdogs are to appoint an architect to draw up designs for a major town centre redevelopment after claiming officials had not listened to their concerns over the project.

By Liz Hearnshaw

FRUSTRATED heritage watchdogs are to appoint an architect to draw up designs for a major town centre redevelopment after claiming officials had not listened to their concerns over the project.

Members of the Suffolk Preservation Society claimed their hand has been forced regarding the £75million plan for the Cattle Market in Bury St Edmunds.

But St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is masterminding the scheme, said extensive consultation has been carried out regarding the proposal for the 12-acre site in the town centre.


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It added amended designs had been produced as a direct result of people's comments.

However, Richard Ward, director of Suffolk Preservation Society, said: “We will hire a team, including an architect, to look at how the scheme for the site could be improved to really take account of the many comments which have been received on the Cattle Market.

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“We need key players and partners in the scheme and in the town engaged in the design process at this stage and we feel that is not happening.”

Mr Ward said the society shared concerns with other groups from the area, including the chamber of commerce and Bury Society, about the scheme.

These include the reduced car parking, the proposed public building and link between the existing town centre and the Cattle Market development.

“We want to ensure this scheme is the very best we can get for the town, and are employing our own professionals to show what we feel needs to be done,” said Mr Ward.

“We do not particularly want this, but feel it is the only course open to us and view it as a positive thing. Opposition to the scheme currently on the table has shown that the developers have not got it right.

“Hiring our own team will allow us to articulate and show precisely what we mean. Another professional team looking at the site may throw up some good ideas the council might feel it is worth taking on board.”

Andrew Varley, chairman of the council's Cattle Market redevelopment working party, said amendments to the scheme showed it had taken account of people's views during an extensive consultation exercise.

“We have listened to everything the Suffolk Preservation Society has had to say and have listened more particularly to what the people of Bury have had to say. The amended designs are a direct result of that consultation,” he added.

The amended scheme, details of which were released last week, includes improving the link between the existing town centre and new development by taking over Stead and Simpson and Top Shop to widen the Market Thoroughfare.

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk

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