Town could get a monorail
A MULTI-million pound vision to secure the future of a historic market town has been hailed as a "golden opportunity".The vision could see the face of Sudbury changed beyond recognition with the plans for new facilities including extended park areas, a multi-storey car park and continental-style shopping areas.
A MULTI-million pound vision to secure the future of a historic market town has been hailed as a "golden opportunity".
The vision could see the face of Sudbury changed beyond recognition with the plans for new facilities including extended park areas, a multi-storey car park and continental-style shopping areas.
National chain stores could also be attracted to the town, while new community buildings would be constructed, all of which would be linked by an unmanned monorail or tram system circulating around the town centre.
As part of the plans, a shuttle train service would also be introduced between Great Cornard and Sudbury.
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The vision is the brainchild of Sudbury designer and resident Robin Drury, who has drawn up the plans with local architect Stephen Thorpe.
"I think this scheme is not just feasible, but imperative. If it doesn't happen Sudbury will just continue to become a complete mess," said Mr Drury.
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"Sudbury is at a crucial turning point and this is the only way to take the town into the 21st Century. We have one of the best town centres in East Anglia, with so much potential, but is just being used as a car park.
"This is the opportunity to make Sudbury one of the best places to live in East Anglia."
Details of the plans, which would cost millions of pounds and take several years to complete were shown to Sudbury Town Council this week, and received members' backing. The council is now looking at ways of taking the blueprint forward.
Deputy town mayor Lesley Ford said: "The vision was very well received and the councillors were all impressed by it.
"This is a brilliant scheme and a golden opportunity that must be grasped now. There will be an awful lot of expense involved so we will have to see what is feasible, but with the will of local authorities anything can be achieved and we should pursue this as far as possible. This is a wonderful vision and it would be fantastic for Sudbury."
The scheme would see the current bus station moved to create a major new shopping complex with national chain stores in the heart of the town, linked up with existing retail outlets in Great Eastern Road.
The new shopping centre would be linked to the historic core via a thoroughfare to Market Hill, which would be developed into a continental style parade to create a café culture.
Around 50% of the existing parking spaces on Market Hill would be axed to make way for tree-lined pavements with expanded seating areas outside the shops. The move could mean the two-day weekly market is relocated.
A community hall and a café could be built on the top of the multi-storey, providing splendid views across the town's treasured water meadows.
A monorail or diesel tram system would then link up the services from the rail/bus station through to the new shopping complex and on to the continental Market Hill area at the heart of the town.
The town's award winning Belle Vue Park would also be expanded by opening up and landscaping the redundant old swimming pool to create a much-needed municipal area.
In Great Cornard a new rail halt would be built and a train shuttle service would carry shoppers to and from Sudbury.
Mr Drury will now meet with the town council on June 22 to discuss ways of taking the scheme forward. He has vowed to carry out market research into the project before approaching the East Of England Development Agency to see if it will fund a feasibility study.