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Rail halt hopes at Great Cornard

PUBLISHED: 05:03 19 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

A NEW rail halt and the provision of a missing link in a long-standing riverside walk proposal are being urged for a brownfield housing scheme.

The developer funded facilities, along with cash for employment opportunities elsewhere, are being recommended by planners as part of proposed conditions for the redevelopment of Cornard Mills site at Great Cornard.

A NEW rail halt and the provision of a missing link in a long-standing riverside walk proposal are being urged for a brownfield housing scheme.

The developer funded facilities, along with cash for employment opportunities elsewhere, are being recommended by planners as part of proposed conditions for the redevelopment of Cornard Mills site at Great Cornard.

The nine-acre site overlooking the Stour Valley would provide 90 homes, but the viability of the much campaigned for rail stop on the Sudbury-Marks Tey branch line is still open to question.

Recently, the EADT revealed trains would not be able to stop at the halt because the line's shuttle service would have insufficient time to connect with main line services to Liverpool Street.

A 50 mph limit applies to most of the 12-mile route, and it would cost millions of pounds to improve the track and increase speeds.

Parish council chairman Raj Nandi has said main line services should be re-scheduled to accommodate the problem, and the latest views from the line operators are to be given to Babergh District Council's development control committee when it discusses the scheme on Wednesday.

Redevelopment of the site, owned by multi-national pet food company Nestle Purina, which has relocated to Chilton Industrial Estate, includes provision for re-aligning the main entrance from Bures Road. A weigh bridge building would be turned into offices; a large, former private house retained as offices; and substantial new industrial buildings demolished. Some older mill buildings would be retained and converted for housing.

Although the development would lead to loss of significant buildings for employment purposes, council planner Martin Price says the premises have a major adverse impact on a special landscape area, and redevelopment should be seen as a planning gain.

There is also the opportunity to secure a substantial area of public open space next to the river, and obtain a contribution from the developers to buy nearby land which would help complete aspirations for a Sudbury-Great Cornard riverside walk.

Loss of employment opportunities could be mitigated by a contribution from the applicants to help finance a cash-strapped plan for eight small units at the South Suffolk Business Centre in Sudbury or redevelopment of the Poplar Road shopping area in Cornard.


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