Rethink over bus station plans could pave the way for new road layout, cinema complex and cafes for Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
A major economy-boosting scheme that could transform a run down part of Sudbury with a new road system, cafes and a cinema complex is a step closer, it has been confirmed.
County highways officers are currently considering two options for moving the bus station from its current location in Hamilton Road, which is necessary if the planned regeneration is to go ahead.
This week, the council’s surveyors have been carrying out a preliminary assessment of the surrounding streets, including neighbouring Great Eastern Road.
Their findings will be presented at a meeting at the Town Hall in January hosted by the Babergh-led Sudbury Steering Group, which is driving the development forward.
Steering group chairman Simon Barrett said: “We have established that the bus stations needs to come out of Hamilton Road so we are now in a position to progress.
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“Once we have established the preferred option we will be able to prepare a development brief and go out to the various people who can take this forward.
“We are trying to be pragmatic in the way that we look at what we are trying to deliver, which has to be fit for purpose.
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“The idea is that we get all of the work done to see if it’s feasible to achieve what we want to achieve.”
Following a public meeting in September attended by more than 120 bus users, the county council pledged to rethink its highly unpopular scheme which would have seen the bus station split across two separate locations in Great Eastern Road and Girling Street.
Highways chiefs are now also considering a second option of moving it all to Girling Street, which would mean the loss of around 80 parking spaces but would offer a single location, close to the town centre.
Last night a county council spokesman confirmed that surveyors had been carrying out a topographical survey in the area.
He added: “The survey is related to the proposed works around Hamilton Road and Belle Vue junction and will give us a lot more relevant data that we can take back to the meeting in January when the two options for the bus station will also be discussed.”
Babergh director Lindsay Barker stressed that a number of hurdles still needed to be overcome before the cinema plan could be progressed.
She said: “The need for a cinema in Sudbury is coming across loud and clear and we simply can’t make the site viable with the bus station there.
“We now know that in order to redevelop that area, the bus station needs to be moved.
“It’s one on the key barriers to the site being developed.”