Former magistrates’ and crown court building in Bury St Edmunds up for sale

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL - Credit: Archant

The former magistrates’ and crown court building in the heart of Bury St Edmunds is officially up for sale and being marketed by estate agents as a “development opportunity”.

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL - Credit: Archant

The Honey Hill building is being offered for sale by informal tender, with bids to be received by June 11.

The magistrates’ court in the town closed in October 2016 – alongside Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court – following cuts by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), with cases being moved to Ipswich.

In the sales document for the building, which is situated edge of the town’s historic Abbey Gardens, agents Carter Jonas said: “The site is being offered for sale freehold, with vacant possession on either a conditional or unconditional basis and is being offered by informal tender.

“Bids to be received by noon on Monday, June 11.

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

The former magistrates' court building in Bury St Edmunds is up for sale. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL - Credit: Archant


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“Conditional offers must be accompanied by a broad outline of the proposal.”

The agents added in the document that a planning appraisal – outlining the potential planning prospects – has been carried out following a pre-application meeting with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, with interested parties encouraged to make their own enquiries to the authority.

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The town centre site extends to around 0.3 acres.

An open viewing was held from 10am-3pm on May 9, with a further day scheduled for today at the same time by appointment only.

Carter Jones has targeted completion of the sale by August 27 this year and there is no guide price.

The 2016 closure of the magistrates’ court in Bury was heralded as the end of an era, with many people in the legal and policing community voicing disapproval.

The EADT launched the ‘Justice for Suffolk’ campaign to fight the closure, which was backed at the time by Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, the then High Sheriff Judith Shallow, the Law Society, St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader John Griffiths and many more.

The building was described as a “symbol for justice” in west Suffolk.

Many concerns were raised over the building’s closure, particularly with regard to access to justice for victims, defendants and witnesses in cases.

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