'Appalling' vandalism forces closure of Belle Vue Park

Belle Vue Park in Sudbury has been closed following vandalism.

Belle Vue Park in Sudbury has been closed following vandalism. - Credit: Archant

Vandals are believed to have set fire to a hedge, exposed an electrical cupboard and damaged the toilet block at Belle Vue Park in Sudbury, leading to its closure. 

Suffolk police believe wood was broken off a fence between 4.15pm and 7.15pm on Bank Holiday Monday and used as a lever to open an electric cupboard exposing the meter at Belle Vue Park.

The council has moved to reassure residents over its plans for Belle Vue Park Picture: ARCHANT

Belle Vue Park has been closed in Sudbury after vandals made the park dangerous.

A small grassland fire was also put out with one hose reel by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service at around 7pm on the bank holiday. 

Crews believe it was started deliberately.

Babergh District Council leader John Ward described Nick Ridley as 'one of Suffolk's finest sons'. P

Babergh District Council leader John Ward - Credit: Archant

Babergh district councillor John Ward said it was "appalling" that vandalism was happening "more and more". 

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The leader of the council said: "It's not the first time we've had vandalism and we do our best to make it secure. 

"It's most unfortunate we don't have park keepers but this would not prevent overnight attacks.

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"Hopefully we can reopen it as soon as possible by the weekend."

When asked if young people were to blame and if more could be done, Mr Ward added: "We have improved the facilities in the park and put in a games area and a skate park but they target that as well." 

The skate park in Belle Vue Park in Sudbury.

The skate park in Belle Vue Park in Sudbury. - Credit: Archant

A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said: "Unfortunately, despite current security measures, we have had to close Belle Vue Park while we repair significant damage caused by vandals on the Bank Holiday Monday. 

"We are working to get the park reopened as quickly as possible, but have to make a number of repairs to ensure it is safe. 

"The most recent incident included damage to fences and an electricity box, an attempted break in to the cabin hut onsite, further vandalism in the toilet block, and a hedge being set alight. 

"This followed damage to the gates, and the men's and ladies toilets being vandalised on separate occasions last week.

"We are working closely with the police and Sudbury Town Council community wardens to try to keep the park open for all, and urge anyone seeing criminal damage to report it to police."

Any witnesses can also call police on 101 quoting crime reference 37/22786/21.

Belle Vue House, Sudbury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Belle Vue House in Sudbury is a valued community asset Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The park has recently become a subject of controversy after the house at Belle Vue, was approved for a commercial bid by Babergh District Council's cabinet and plans were approved to turn it into retirement housing. 

The Belle Vue Action Group has raised more than £4,000 for a judicial review to try to block the revamp of the house and have launched a petition against the sale of the historic building. 

To visit the group's fundraiser see here, and you can sign their petition here.

Babergh district council leader Mr Ward added this plan is the only "alternative" to change the park for the better. 

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