Cattle Market plan already delayed
WORK on a multi-million pound shopping complex in Suffolk is already six months behind schedule - just one month after the project began.The Cattle Market Development, in Bury St Edmunds, which is to include shopping and leisure facilities as well as housing, was supposed to be ready for September 2008.
WORK on a multi-million pound shopping complex in Suffolk is already six months behind schedule - just one month after the project began.
The Cattle Market Development, in Bury St Edmunds, which is to include shopping and leisure facilities as well as housing, was supposed to be ready for September 2008.
But developers Centros Miller said last night it had been forced to put the completion date back to as late as Easter 2009 following a delay in finding a contractor to carry out the work.
Spokesman Steve Bryson said: “There was a prolonged length of time in terms of selecting the right contractors. But the shops involved only really like to open at two times a year - early autumn and early spring, and we just got too close to comfort to that first deadline so we thought the best thing to do was push it back until spring 2009.”
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The Cattle Market scheme has sparked huge debate among residents and traders who fear it could change the face of the historic town.
Last month, hundreds of angry residents gathered to protest about the development, when it was officially handed over to contractors Taylor Woodrow.
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Some fear a loss of town centre parking and toilets, coupled with concerns the new development would create a divide between the old town and the new, could spell disaster.
But Centros Miller, along with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, believe the scheme - which is to include a Debenhams department store, around 35 other shops, cafes, restaurants, 62 apartments, a public square and multi-purpose public venue building - will help put Bury on the map.
Mr Bryson added: “It takes a while to get the shops ready, so we will need to hand the finished units over around six to nine months before the completion date for the larger stores, and between eight to 12 weeks for the smaller ones.”
But Simon Harding, who helped organise the protest in December, said he feared the delay would lead to more disruption for the town.
“It means we will have to go another Christmas with the town in chaos, and if it has already been delayed by six months, who is to say there will not be further set backs,” he said.