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Campaign launched over fears for future of key town park amid hotel development plan

PUBLISHED: 07:30 19 February 2019

Belle Vue Park in Sudbury has been a hub for community events. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Belle Vue Park in Sudbury has been a hub for community events. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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A rallying cry has been issued by opposition councillors in Babergh against plans for a Premier Inn that would see a portion of Belle Vue Park developed.

Some Babergh opposition councillors have raised concerns over hotel work impacting on Belle Vue Park. Picture: ARCHANTSome Babergh opposition councillors have raised concerns over hotel work impacting on Belle Vue Park. Picture: ARCHANT

Plans published in last year’s Sudbury Vision for Prosperity revealed proposals to turn the former swimming pool and a portion of the park which currently has public toilets into a hotel.

But some of Babergh District Council’s opposition has raised a series of concerns around finances and development in the park ahead of a rally planned for April.

Labour councillor Luke Cresswell questioned the plans to borrow the money.

“We’re not necessarily against a hotel being built in Sudbury but this should be financed by the private company, not the council,” he said.

John Nunn said the additional traffic in the area would also be a problem. Picture: GREGG BROWNJohn Nunn said the additional traffic in the area would also be a problem. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“The Tories would have us take a risk with taxpayer’s money. A hotel must also be built in the right place.

“We will not stand idly by while the Tories build on land currently dedicated to our park. We need to protect and improve our park for future children and families. We must not let the Tories at Babergh destroy it through development.”

Independent Long Melford councillor John Nunn added: “For years the Tories have neglected the park.

“We also have big concerns about the impact on traffic a hotel would have to an already busy junction.

It is understood the area of Belle Vue Park that will be developed with the hotel is the former toilet block. Picture: EMMA BRENNANIt is understood the area of Belle Vue Park that will be developed with the hotel is the former toilet block. Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

“Clearly we cannot trust the county council to fund improvements to our roads to cope with this.”

The pair will be kicking off the Save Belle Vue Park campaign with the rally from 10am on Saturday, April 6, at the entrance of the park.

But Babergh District Council leader John Ward, Conservative, denied that the space is under threat.

“I’m surprised that my council colleagues feel the need to have a pre-election rally to ‘save’ Belle Vue Park when the park is categorically not under threat,” he said.

Babergh leader John Ward said there was no threat to Belle Vue Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBabergh leader John Ward said there was no threat to Belle Vue Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We stand by our previous commitment that any redevelopment of this site must secure the best possible outcome for Sudbury and the district as whole.

“This means helping the local economy grow; providing jobs for local people; and retaining Belle Vue Park as a green, open space with facilities – including investing in new ones – for the whole community.”

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