Sudbury park should 'be brought back under local control,' councillor says
PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:50 01 June 2019
Belle Vue Park could be "the jewel in the Sudbury crown" if it is brought back under local control, a councillor has said.
Sudbury Town councillor Luke Cresswell has put forward a motion to shape the future of the park, which he says requires sustained investment and the whole site should be dedicated to leisure, "not for mass development or privatisation".
Campaigners held a rally in the town in April to protest against Babergh District Council's plans for a budget hotel and pub/restaurant plus a car park on part of the park.
The motion, which is seconded by independent Town councillor for St Leonards, Ellen Murphy, is due to go before the full Sudbury Town Council meeting on Tuesday, June 11.
Mr Cresswell is asking for the town council to enter negotiations with Babergh to transfer the ownership of Belle Vue Park to Sudbury Town Council.
He said: "Once again, the park could be the jewel in the Sudbury crown. We need to get this right, it will affect the whole town."
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Miss Murphy added: "I fully support Councillor Cresswell's endeavour to save Belle View, a venue that has been enjoyed for numerous years by residents and visitors alike.
"Unfortunately, the time spent on prevaricating on its future use by Babergh District Council has only added to the demise of the house and park and, no doubt, has had a cost implication to the taxpayers."
She said it was "now time to make our views known and to reclaim Belle View for the enjoyment and pride of future generations".
"There is so much development and redevelopment taking place in Sudbury that we are at risk of losing our identity as a market town," she said.
"Moving with the times does not mean or necessitate destroying a legacy."
Babergh District Council leader John Ward said the Sudbury full council needed to decide a course of action before the district council could respond.
"We can, however, say that Babergh District Council enjoys a close relationship with Sudbury Town Council and we already share a vision for the town's future - working together on the Sudbury Vision for Prosperity to ensure the town continues to thrive and that its assets, such as Belle Vue Park, are protected for generations to come," he said.
Babergh is preparing detailed plans for a planning application to be submitted later this year.