Step closer for Cattle Market revamp

A LONG-awaited project to transform a derelict town centre spot into a bustling retail, leisure and housing complex has come one step closer to becoming a reality.

A LONG-awaited project to transform a derelict town centre spot into a bustling retail, leisure and housing complex has come one step closer to becoming a reality.

And councillors in Bury St Edmunds fighting to bring the ambitious multi-million pound Cattle Market redevelopment to life say this latest milestone – an official legal agreement between the authority and developers – should allay public fears that the project will never see the light of day.

The results of an extensive consultation carried out by St Edmundsbury Borough Council showed a real concern the redevelopment, which has been in the pipeline for years, may never go ahead after previous schemes fell by the wayside.

But council officials say the agreement, between St Edmundsbury and chosen development partner Centros Miller, should silence any doubters while outlining specific conditions, regarding car parking and viability, binding to both parties.


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Ray Nowak, leader of the council, said: "This is the next big step. The agreement endorsed by the council outlines, in legal terms, the partnership arrangement between the borough and the developers, and how to proceed.

"There is universal support for this Cattle Market project, and the legal arrangement was agreed comfortably during a full council meeting on Tuesday.

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"We are now yet another stage nearer getting the development we all want to see happen on the Cattle Market.

"Certainly one of the concerns people have shown is a fear this development might never happen, but every indication is that the developers are very keen, with support coming from across the political divide on the council.

"I cannot see any reason why this should not go ahead, which is very good news."

A final decision on the department store chosen to act as an anchor on the newly-developed Cattle Market will be taken in June, following the elections on May 1. Debenhams and Palmers are the two contenders hoping to strike a deal with the council.

Once all arrangements have been finalised and the building work is complete, Centros Miller will be granted a 150-year lease by the borough council.

"One of the concerns expressed during the extensive period of consultation was that the Cattle Market project would not go ahead," said Deborah Cadman, council chief executive.

"By signing this development agreement both St Edmundsbury and Centros Miller are demonstrating their full commitment to the success of this project."

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