Key Haverhill site to be available for future development

Haverhill town centre

Haverhill town centre - Credit: Archant

A key site in Haverhill town centre that is currently described as an “eyesore” is being lined up for development.

The unoccupied former Co-op store at the corner of Jubilee Walk is central to plans for creating a new square and bus interchange, one of six major projects proposed in the town centre masterplan.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the Co-Operative Group have negotiated a deal that means the site will shortly be in the council’s control and therefore available for future development.

And until those plans are ready for implementation, the borough council is hoping to complete a short-term lease with a new occupier.

Borough councillor Alaric Pugh, chairman of the ONE Haverhill Core Group, which has led the consultation on the masterplan, said: “This is excellent news for Haverhill.

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“The site has been an eyesore and with the fresh new vision for the town centre it is right that the borough council has moved to take control. It is a positive step that will contribute to the vitality of the town while the exciting plans are prepared.”

Mr Pugh, who is also cabinet member for planning and growth on the borough council, added: “The surrender of the Co-op lease means the borough council is taking control of the site to allow the new Jubilee Square to be delivered.

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“We are also optimistic that a deal can be agreed for the building to be brought back into use in the short term whilst the long term future of Jubilee Walk and car park area continue to be developed.”

The town centre masterplan has been recommended for approval by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, and it will then go before the full council on September 22.

In total, 353 written responses were received throughout a 12-week public consultation period on the vision.

The borough council said it has pursued a corporate commitment to the regeneration of Haverhill for the last 10 years, closely engaging with residents and businesses on how the town should grow.

St Edmundsbury’s chief executive, Ian Gallin, said: “The town centre masterplan, led by ONE Haverhill, saw over 1,000 people engaging in the future of their town. Once it is adopted as planning guidance, developers will be able to use the plan to transform the town centre in line with those aspirations.”

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