Have your say on town's future
By Liz HearnshawTHE public will have the chance from tomorrow to have their say on an ambitious £75million town centre redevelopment scheme.The proposals for the future of the Cattle Market site in Bury St Edmunds will go on display this week as part of a huge public consultation exercise.
By Liz Hearnshaw
THE public will have the chance from tomorrow to have their say on an ambitious £75million town centre redevelopment scheme.
The proposals for the future of the Cattle Market site in Bury St Edmunds will go on display this week as part of a huge public consultation exercise.
Households in Bury St Edmunds will also receive leaflets explaining the project and asking for their views.
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Under the redevelopment scheme, homes, retail outlets and a public building would be built on the Cattle Market site.
Starting tomorrow, an exhibition showcasing the designs will be held in the old Job Centre, on the Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds.
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Project architects, traffic consultants and developers will all be available to answer any questions, while anyone not able to attend can fill out a pre-paid reply card - which will be sent to 40,000 homes during the next three weeks - to share their views.
Tony Williams, development manager at Centros Miller, St Edmundsbury Borough Council's development partner for the Cattle Market, said: “The consultation is now reaching an extremely important stage as we ask the general public of Bury St Edmunds for comments.
“Whilst we will also be continuing our long-running discussions with interest groups, like the Bury Society and chamber of commerce, we really want all the people of the town to look at the scheme and give us their feedback.
“Their views will really count - it's their town and we want to be sure that our scheme delivers what they want.”
Workshops with key interest groups will continue in the run-up to decisions being taken on planning applications relating to the site - which is currently derelict and used as a car park - while a telephone hotline for comments has also been set up.
Andrew Varley, chairman of the Cattle Market redevelopment working party, on behalf of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “It is of vital importance that as many people as possible take part in the consultation.
“We want to make sure their thoughts are known about our designs and future plans. Everything we have been doing up to this point has been based on the original consultation and now we want to have the opportunity for the public to comment on those plans.”
The project features provision for 35 retail units, with 56 one and two-bedroom apartments built on top of the new shops.
A clam-shaped Debenham's department store will be included within the development, alongside an adaptable, multi-use public building.
“Bury St Edmunds is a thriving and growing market town - it is one of England's real jewels,” reads the leaflet to be delivered to homes over the coming weeks.
“The Cattle Market scheme has been designed to integrate seamlessly with the existing town centre
“It has also been designed to provide the town with a much stronger retail attraction, so that fewer local people will be tempted to travel elsewhere.
“Your views really count, as nothing has been set in stone yet. We will look carefully at each comment and suggestion that every member of the public makes during this consultation and if we can respond by making the scheme even better, then we will.”
Planning applications relating to the development are expected to be decided in July, with work on the site completed by 2007.
The exhibition on the Cornhill will run until June 26, and people can also share their views through the project website at www.burysteds.org.uk . The telephone hotline is available on 01242 256 806.