Mixed reaction to town revamp plans
AMBITIOUS proposals to radically transform the centre of a Suffolk market town have been labelled as “pie in the sky”.The historic core of Sudbury could be revamped into a modern café society if plans unveiled in a feasibility study of the town are adopted.
AMBITIOUS proposals to radically transform the centre of a Suffolk market town have been labelled as “pie in the sky”.
The historic core of Sudbury could be revamped into a modern café society if plans unveiled in a feasibility study of the town are adopted.
But while the independent report suggests new shops and residential areas and an “exciting” new public space, they were last night described by a councillor as “pure fantasy”.
District and town councillor Nick Irwin said: “The whole thing is pie in the sky. It is only a feasibility study but there is no evidence of money or backers or potential developers.
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“I would question the whole thing. They talk about attracting a big retailer but who could we attract when Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Ipswich is round the corner?
“Sudbury is a fantastic and vibrant town - we should be looking to enhance the centre, not change it completely.”
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The draft report, prepared by the Civic Trust, is designed to act as a guide to landowners and developers.
The authors described some parts of the main town centre as “idle and under-used” and outlined a list of improvements.
Plans include a mixed used area of shops and living accommodation in part of the town dubbed St Peter's Quarter, a new shopping street in Hamilton Road, improved links to the railway station and an “exciting” new public space at Lloyds Bank gardens.
The report states: “The town centre is relatively buoyant, there are few empty premises, there is interest from potential occupiers and there is investment already happening round about.”
Tom McConnell, project officer for the Sudbury Market Town Partnership, said: “I think there are a lot of people who would like to see some kind of café society - it is a way of bringing people into the town and making it more attractive.
“Everyone will have slightly different views but we think what is being proposed is a way forward for Sudbury.
“It is all a little premature at the moment, we will now await the final report from the Civic Trust and then we will consult organisations and closely interested parties.”