Sudbury revamp plans are rejected

CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop an historic market square have been dropped after an outcry over the proposals.

Dave Gooderham

CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop an historic market square have been dropped after an outcry over the proposals.

Sudbury Town Council had wanted to spend £300,000 on the designs for the Market Hill - if they could arrange a bid for the money from Babergh District Council.

The money, controlled by Babergh, comes from supermarket giant Tesco as part of its conditions to build an extension to its store in Sudbury.

Designers, employed by the town council, wanted to see a “piazza” style area with more trees and less traffic but the council has rejected the plans.

Peter Goodchild, Sudbury mayor defended the council's decision to reject the designs, which cost taxpayers £3,000.

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He said: “We never did really like them. We simply asked the designers to come up with some ideas. We had some ideas ourselves and asked them to be incorporated.

“We wanted the design to be a talking point but this 'café society' idea became something of a joke.

“A plan this grandiose would have cost way in excess what we would have got for the town centre redevelopment.

“We have some ideas of our own including creating a shared space around the town hall but there is no terrific rush.”

Robin Drury, one of the two designers behind the scheme, said he was “extremely disappointed” the plans would not become reality.

“The way the town council have handled this is not untypical,” he said. “I feel the town council does not make good decisions about the infrastructure. They made the decision after talking about it for only 10 minutes.

“The council has been weak. I would like to think it was just a vocal minority (against the plans) and we still have a lot of friends out there.”

John McMillan, president of Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said he had not been impressed by the designs.

“We don't make much of the designs - they seemed impractical and with no real merit,” he said. “But we didn't really have a chance to discuss them.

“The town isn't going to do anything significant with the centre until they take the through traffic out of it. They (the council) should also be coming to the business community but we have not been consulted.”

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