Sudbury: Bus station revamp on new committee’s agenda

A 10-year battle to bring a rundown area of Sudbury town centre up to scratch is finally poised to be resolved.

Hamilton Road, which is owned by a number of stakeholders including Suffolk County Council, Babergh District Council and private businesses, has become so shabby that it has been described as an “eyesore”.

As the area incorporates the town’s main bus station and public toilets – and it is the first thing visitors to the town see when they get off a bus – councillors believe a facelift is long overdue.

So now Babergh has taken the lead on the development plans and has formed a working group which will meet for the first time on July 27.

The committee will be made up of representatives from town, district and county councils, the chamber of commerce, Sudbury Market Town Partnership and local voluntary groups.

It will look at the rejuvenation of Hamilton Road, as well as Belle Vue House and grounds and Market Hill. In addition, the group will take a position on the town centre properties owned by the NHS – St Leonards and Walnuttree Hospitals – which are to be sold for development later this year.

Babergh District councillor Simon Barrett, who has been at the heart of the push to form a steering group, said: “The idea is that we can now get all of the bodies involved together to form a co-ordinated approach to how we tackle these projects.

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“We will also be able to look at other issues affecting the town such as integrated transport and car parking charges.

“Although we will have no decision-making abilities, we will be able to steer things in the right direction which will ultimately help form policies.

“I am confident that it will work, because it’s the first time it has been tackled from Babergh downwards, and they are now treating this as a high priority.”

Although the county council has no immediate plans for Hamilton Road, it recently announced that it intended to spend �460,000 on highways improvement schemes in Sudbury, including the town centre.

A spokeswoman said: “We will continue to work closely with our colleagues at Babergh District Council to monitor the situation and consider any redevelopment plans.”

Martin Byford, of Addison & Byford, which owns the empty parcel of land beside the bus station, said business owners had not yet been approached for their input.

Babergh had also rejected development ideas they had submitted. But he added: “We are more than willing to engage in discussions about the future of Hamilton Road.”

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