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New public footpath unveiled alongside major Travelodge and Starbucks development

PUBLISHED: 12:02 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 13 July 2018

Mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks (centre left) with developer Mike Spenser-Morris (centre right) and guests at the opening of the new footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks (centre left) with developer Mike Spenser-Morris (centre right) and guests at the opening of the new footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Archant

A new public footpath enabling residents to walk safely to a Bury St Edmunds supermarket has been officially opened in the town.

Mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks with developer Mike Spenser-Morris at the opening of the new footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDMayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks with developer Mike Spenser-Morris at the opening of the new footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

The footpath, which is nearly 200 metres long, runs from Etna Road, along Compiegne Way, and into the Tesco car park.

The path has been funded by Mike Spenser-Morris, of NHP Holdings, the developer behind the new 80-room Travelodge and ‘drive-thru’ Starbucks development on land off Etna Road.

Mr Spenser-Morris, who is a Bury St Edmunds resident and owns Langton Place in the town’s medieval grid, said: “For a long time local residents have had to walk along the unmade-up Compiegne Way verge, which is often a rough mud path in winter to both shop and work in the superstore.

CGI of the new Travelodge. Picture: SUPPLIED BY NHP HOLDINGSCGI of the new Travelodge. Picture: SUPPLIED BY NHP HOLDINGS

“It’s very dangerous.

“The newly laid footpath will be of considerable community benefit to them.

“A pedestrian bridge will connect the two sites but I felt this was important for people.

The mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks cuts the ribbon for the new public footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDThe mayor of St Edmundsbury Margaret Marks cuts the ribbon for the new public footpath Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

“We also have plans to plant hundreds of bulbs along the path so next year it will be full of colour and very pretty.”

Margaret Marks, mayor of St Edmundsbury, cut the ribbon at a special ceremony held yesterday, and was joined by residents, councillors, Tesco staff and members of the construction team at the site.

MORE: Developer outlines vision for Travelodge and Starbucks site

Mrs Marks praised the developer for his “community-minded” approach to the development.

“This is an amazing gesture which is going to make a big difference to people,” she said.

“Mike didn’t have to do this, but it shows how helpful and supportive he has been and that he is a community-minded developer.

“We would encourage all our developers to be this community-minded.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that a very muddy and unsafe route has been transformed for residents.”

Sam Blackbeard, Tesco store manager, said: “It’s good for colleagues and customers, and good for business.

“It’s all positive really.”

Work on the new hotel and coffee shop site got underway in February and is expected to give the town’ economy and tourist trade a major boost.

The development is expected to be fully completed by January 2019.

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