Calls for Sudbury's Market Hill to stay pedestrianised for al fresco summer dining

The Government has released new coronavirus infection rate data Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Government has released new coronavirus infection rate data Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A Sudbury Town Council committee has recommended that Market Hill should stay pedestrianised.  

The policy and resources committee put forward to the full council that the current restrictions on Market Hill should remain in place until the beginning of September. 

This comes after the council was approached by businesses on Market Hill regarding the plans for the use of the area in the spring and summer 2021.

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Sudbury town councillor Jenny Antil, who chaired the meeting on February 16, said that the recommendation is only a “temporary" solution. 

She said: “It is only a temporary suggestion at the moment for the summer. I don’t think it should be taken as any sign that town council is happy for that situation to continue beyond the end of the summer.  

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“I think the whole idea is to give certainty to the traders like Costa Coffee so they can invest in street furniture.  

“The problem last year is that they did not really feel like they wanted to invest in eating outside because they didn’t know how long the situation was going to last so we are trying to give them some certainty.  

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“But people shouldn’t read into it that the town council want this situation to be permanently there. We have our own plan that we have presented to Babergh District Council on how we would like Market Hill to look and don’t think we have changed our view on that.” 

Mrs Antil also said that the council has come up with a compromise scheme that will see some parking re-introduced. But she believes that they should be given to the elderly and disabled.  

However, local resident David Peter Holland believes what the council are recommending could have a disastrous impact on the future of Sudbury town. 

He said: “I think some senior councillors saw the Covid-19 epidemic and the need for social distancing as a way of implementing complete pedestrianisation of the Market Hill area. 

“And since then, they have maintained that position and kept the whole Market Hill area completely free of parking and I think the mindset is that if they keep it going long enough people will get used to it and accept it and agree to the pedestrianisation fully. 

“Unfortunately, both the politicians, officers and consultants working for the council do not seem to understand the dynamics of Sudbury and what made it thrive in the past and why what they are doing is going to kill it in the future. 

“Just trying to make it pretty and sell lots of cups of coffee and lunches is not going to cut it. It won’t deliver the economic vitality and it won’t deliver the jobs."

The full Sudbury Town Council will sit next Tuesday to decide whether or not to keep Market Hill pedestrianised. 

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