District council’s ‘visioning for Sudbury’ slammed by councillor who wants to boost town centre economy

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A community leader has decided to take Sudbury’s future into his own hands, believing that Babergh District Council has “inadequate motivation to get things moving”.

Sudbury. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Sudbury. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

In October last year, the district authority held a “visioning for Sudbury” briefing and said that a blueprint for regeneration of the town would be drawn up, based on local people’s feedback.

The council is yet to produce any suggestions of how the town will be developed and so councillor Simon Barrett is drawing up his own plans.

He said: “I will present some options to the town council in the next few months, and if Babergh council has any sense they will listen. Their so-called ‘visioning’ was totally inadequate. It didn’t mention Hamilton Road or the Belle Vue site.

“All they did was say they wanted to hear from local people, but that is far too vague a question. What they should be doing is drawing up a few plans of how things could look and giving the public the opportunity to say where they’d stake their hat.

Babergh councillor Simon Barrett and former councillor David Holland (right) at Borehamgate shopping

Babergh councillor Simon Barrett and former councillor David Holland (right) at Borehamgate shopping centre which Babergh bought last year - Credit: Gregg Brown

“It’s called ‘leadership’. It is what we have been elected to do. God knows why they’re against doing it.”

Mr Barratt said his plans would focus on transforming the town centre into a “meeting place” and instead of focusing on traditional retail, would include things like coffee shops, restaurants, green spaces and a cinema to make the centre of town enticing and boost the night-time economy.

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“Traditional retail is changing. Big department stores are going online. Town centres need to become leisure destinations in order to survive and frankly, it’s about time we were one,” he said.

“How can it be that we don’t have our own cinema? I went to see the Churchill film last week and had to go to Bury. I’d rather be in Sudbury, spending my money in my own town.”

Babergh District Council said that work is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We had some great feedback from Sudbury last year, not only from the public in the summer but from other stakeholders we met later in the year.

“We’ve been given so much, we’re still analysing all of it now.

“However, work has been happening over the winter, and we’ll have some news for Sudbury shortly. For now we only want to again thank everyone who took part last year, and let them know to watch this space.”

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