Campaigners’ disappointment at bus station plans

CAMPAIGNERS have voiced their frustration at plans selected to redevelop an eyesore area of a market town.

Opponents to three options consulted on to improve the area surrounding Hamilton Road in Sudbury have said the town’s people will be let down by building a development around a new bus station.

During a six week public consultation supporters of a Civic Trust feasibility study in 2006, which said the bus station should be moved to allow full development of the area, setup ‘Why Ignore Option Four’.

At a meeting of Babergh District Council’s strategy committee at the end of last week<10.02> councillors put option three, to build a development around a new bus station in Hamilton Road, into the project’s development brief.

It means talks can now begin with landowners of the site to move forward the scheme forward in eventually finding a developer to take it on.

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But Robin Drury, a Sudbury designer who led a campaign against the way the consultation was being run, said: “It will be a seedy piecemeal, if anything, development.

“It will completely ruin any development scheme for that area.”

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He added he believed the fact Babergh has said it intends not to use compulsory purchase act powers on plots of the land currently occupied by businesses will mean option three is never achieved. He said he sees the whole project as a “smokescreen” to use �500,000 of funding promised by Suffolk County Council to build a new bus station, with the requirement it has to be done where they have request it, on Hamilton Road.

But Sandra Scott, project leader of what Babergh has termed the ‘Hamilton Road Quarter’, said: “This is the golden opportunity which Sudbury has been wanting to take advantage of for many decades.

“With the clear thumbs-up from Babergh ‘s strategy committee, we can now start meaningful talks with key stakeholders, including the relevant landowners, aimed at rejuvenating ‘the Hamilton Road Quarter’ in the years to come”.

The vision for the development sees shops and restaurants backing onto the Borehamgate precinct on the ground floor, with flats on the upper floor, possibly alongside a cinema for the town. A roundabout would be built to improve safety at the junction with Great Eastern Road and Station Road.

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