First two priorities outlined as councillors adopt final version of Bury St Edmunds masterplan

An artist's impression of a redevelped St Andrews Street North. Picture: DAVID LOCK ASSOC

An artist's impression of a redevelped St Andrews Street North. Picture: DAVID LOCK ASSOC - Credit: DAVID LOCK ASSOC

The first two priorities of a multi-million pound masterplan for Bury St Edmunds have been announced after the final version was formally adopted by councillors last night.

St Andrews Street South. Picture: GREGG BROWN

St Andrews Street South. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The town centre masterplan, which sets out the vision for the future of Bury, focuses on eight core areas for improvement as the town grows, and has been shaped through public consultation.

Many of the individual projects proposed, such as enhancing the Cornhill and Buttermarket for pedestrians, will be subject to research and further consultation.

The council says two projects – both relating to St Andrews Street – have been earmarked as priorities and will look to be progressed in the new year.

St Andrews Street North was identified as the preferred site for a new car park, but there was concern from bus users regarding redevelopment of the bus station.

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The council says it is looking at a new scheme which will benefit both motorists and bus passengers.

Improvements to St Andrews Street South between Risbygate Street and Woolhall Street, which currently divides the modern Arc shopping centre from the old quarter is also seen as a priority by the borough council.

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Councillor Alaric Pugh said: “We have known for a while that the town centre is going to need more car parking.

“Our car parks are very popular which reflects the success of the town – and that success must be allowed to continue.

“The masterplan – a process shaped by the people for the people – identified St Andrews Street North as the preferred site for a new car park.

“At the same time we heard concern from bus passengers who thought that we would no longer be catering for their needs.

“Realistically, we will now be looking at a scheme that caters for both the car driver and the bus passenger. It is no secret that we also envisage this being a more attractive and vibrant area for all.”

Mr Pugh added: “Equally St Andrews Street South between Risbygate Street and Woolhall Street currently divides the arc from The Cornhill and Buttermarket. “Our strategic purchase of the former Post Office building can act as a catalyst for change in this area.

“A new shop front onto St Andrews Street South for instance will open the eyes of other landowners and investors and encourage real improvements to the area, while I anticipate that we will be able to deliver visual improvements to Market Thoroughfare, which is just one of the walkways between the Arc and the traditional town centre.

“Obviously this is just the start and there will be more work and more consultation as we move forward on delivering these key elements of the Bury St Edmunds town centre masterplan.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of the Ourburystedmunds Business Improvement District (BID) group, said: “From a BID perspective, we have worked closely with the borough council and in general terms, we are very happy with the commitment to make improvements to the town centre.

“As always the devil is in the detail and we will be very happy to continue working with the council next year to make sure the outcomes benefit businesses and residents alike.”

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