Councillors will be asked to approve £100,000 towards next phase of public service village in Western Way, Bury St Edmunds

West Suffolk House

West Suffolk House - Credit: Archant

“Ambitious” plans to expand a public service village in Bury St Edmunds will move a step closer if councillors approve £100,000 towards the project.

A business plan is being developed over the possible relocation of the council’s depot from Western Way to a shared site at Compiegne Way with the household waste recycling centre, currently at Rougham Hill, and a new waste transfer station.

This would free up space in Western Way, home to the St Edmundsbury Borough Council offices, and create the opportunity to expand the public service village to include even more partners, such as the emergency services.

On Tuesday, members of St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet will be asked to recommend to full council spending £100,000 on appointing a project manager for the second phase of the public service village, alongside legal and property consultants.

That would allow the creation of an updated masterplan to include the possibility of eventually redeveloping the DHL NHS Logistics site and would also steer the project towards a more detailed set of plans.

Should the depot move to Compiegne Way go ahead, it would then allow construction on the second phase of the public service village to get underway in late 2016.

Leader of St Edmundsbury, John Griffiths, said: “At its heart the concept of the public service village is about ease of access for our residents and businesses, it is about taking the initiative and new ways of working to deliver and protect the services that are important to our residents, it is about greater collaboration and partnerships, and it is about delivering better and more at less cost – and for every pound of our taxpayers’ money.”

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The borough council and Suffolk County Council first approved a concept for the public service village eight years ago.

That culminated in the relocation of staff from both councils to new shared offices at West Suffolk House in Western Way in 2009.

Although St Edmundsbury now shares staff with Forest Heath District Council, and the building has welcomed new partners, the borough says it was never envisaged the project would simply end with one building.

Peter Stevens, cabinet member for waste and property at the borough council, said: “This is the start of an ambitious second phase of the public service village. Although West Suffolk House is a fantastic award-winning landmark building, it is only part of the vision for a greater public service village which will bring benefits both in terms of service and costs to our local residents.”