Row over plans for new cafe and entrance to park

Belle Vue House, Sudbury. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The proposed new entrance at Belle Vue Park will be discussed in a council meeting next month - Credit: Archant

A £1.12million proposed revamp of Sudbury's Belle Vue Park - which could see a new cafe and entrance to the site - is to be debated at a council meeting.

Babergh District Council is to discuss the plans for the major project, which would also see new toilets installed with full disabled access, at its cabinet meeting on Monday, July 5.

The future of the popular park has long been divisive, with previous plans plans to build a hotel and restaurant there shelved last year because of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The latest plans would be paid for using the proceeds of the sale of Belle Vue House and part of the old swimming pool site, which has been bought by Churchill Retirement Living.

The district council hopes that by investing in a new, high-quality and secure entrance, it will better connect the park with the town centre. 

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But members of the Belle Vue Action Group, which opposed the sale of Belle Vue House, would like to see the rest of the swimming pool site incorporated into the park and opened up - connecting it to Market Hill and St Peters Church. 

Polly Rodger Brown, a member of Belle Vue Action Group, said: "The reason there has to be a new entrance is because they sold the original entrance.

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"We want to open it up with a green path route which will be a cheap option with metal railings, but Babergh have not even costed that idea. 

"The proposed new entrance is on the busiest and most dangerous part on the Cornard road which would not be seen from central Sudbury and has a huge amount of traffic.

"It will be dangerous and we are concerned there could be a hideous action."

Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, councillor Michael Holt, said: “The desire to create a new park entrance for Belle Vue Park, increasing visibility and accessibility from the town centre, was one of the main comments from our ‘What Next for Sudbury’ event in January 2020.

"I am glad we are now in a position to start realising this ambition.

Cllr Michael Holt

Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth - Credit: Babergh District Council

“The park is a valuable asset for the people of Sudbury and improvements to the entrance and the park as a whole, will create a welcoming, open space.”

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