Cattle Market car parking poser

THE man who oversaw the development of Heathrow Airport has raised questions about the price of providing parking arrangements at a landmark development.

THE man who oversaw the development of Heathrow Airport has raised questions about the price of providing parking arrangements at a landmark development.

As members of a working party got their first glimpse of early designs for the Cattle Market in Bury St Edmunds, Peter Drew, former chairman of construction giants Taylor Woodrow, urged councillors to focus their spending on car parking rather than the much-vaunted public building.

He said: "Underground car parking is the most worthwhile way of providing parking in a town centre. It simply does not take away valuable space and provides good secure car parking.

"It is more expensive on the surface than normal car parking but any decent option costs more and it will pay off in the long term.


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"It is an invaluable investment and far better than some public building. It will be useful to everyone in the town and the locality."

Mr Drew, who lives in Bury, was co-opted on to the Cattle Market Redevelopment Working Party on Monday having been chairman of Taylor Woodrow which handled much of the development at Heathrow Airport.

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While advocating car parking as vital to the success of the multi-million pound redevelopment scheme, Mr Drew said current plans were only focussing on the short term and quotes for underground parking were far too high.

He added: "We are going to have a shopping centre which is fully developed and attracting a large number of people and this is the sort of car usage we ought to be interested in otherwise there won't be enough practical car parking in ten years time.

"They have been vastly over-quoted and God only knows where the figures came from – they were probably to scare people off."

Members of the working party agreed to recommend a 200-space underground parking scheme to St Edmundsbury Borough Council's cabinet and full council.

Working party chairman Andrew Varley said: "We feel the underground car parking option is a one-off opportunity.

"If we don't do it now, we would not be able to do it. It is also something that everyone seems to want and makes sense and it is within the budget we already have earmarked.

"We are also very pleased to have Peter in the working party, his background is very strong and he has lots of good ideas and his expertise is terrific."

Early designs for the redevelopment have also been greeted positively as members look to accommodate more than 3,000 parking spaces once work is completed.

Cllr Sheila Wormleighton, vice-chairman of the working party, said the plans, which have not been made available to the public, were quite different to original designs for the Cattle Market more than ten years ago.

She said: "The first designs were based purely on retail but we felt that wasn't really appropriate while this new development is much more mixed use.

"This time we have started from a completely different concept, we have been directed much more by public consultation.

"The new designs, though in the early stages, are much more in keeping with the rest of the town."

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