‘Please have your say’ – Residents urged to shape ‘nationally groundbreaking’ project

An artist's impression of the proposed development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD

An artist's impression of the proposed development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD - Credit: Archant

Residents are being urged to shape an ambitious multi-million pound project which could combine community facilities and public services onto one site in west Suffolk.

An artist's impression inside the development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD

An artist's impression inside the development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD - Credit: Archant

The proposed Western Way development in Bury St Edmunds will integrate leisure, police, NHS and education services in a "nationally groundbreaking way", according to the council.

Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, which is 45 years old, would be replaced as part of the plans and a new centre would be integrated with a community health facility.

It is also suggested that the steel frame of the depot on Olding Road is re-used for the new public service building.

MORE: Public to see plans for Western Way public services hub within weeksWest Suffolk Council says the move will save money and natural resources as well as creating a flexible space that will link to existing services at West Suffolk House.

Map of the proposed multi-million pound development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD

Map of the proposed multi-million pound development Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS/PICK EVERARD - Credit: Archant

People are invited to make their views known on initial ideas around the use of the building as well as on suggested improvements to highway junctions to cope with an increase in traffic in the area.


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The council said early work shows that the nearest junctions are already busy at peak times and, if nothing is done, even without the new development, delays and queues will get longer over time.

The changes proposed to the junctions from Newmarket Road, along Western Way, to the junction with Beetons Way, will help manage not only the traffic to the scheme itself but also this 'background' growth on the highway network, the council says.

People can find out more and have their say at a consultation from Friday, July 26 to September 10 online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/wwd or at a public exhibition event on a date to be announced.

MORE: Existing steel frame could be used in new public sector hub in Bury St Edmunds

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Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs at West Suffolk Council, said: "This, if given the go ahead, is an exemplar project nationally on not only how all public services can share buildings and space but work in a more joined up way to be better than the sum of their parts.

"Evidence is clear that when services such as health, leisure, education and other public services are put together that not only is it easier to access services but also the outcomes are much better.

"By sharing public services we also open up land they previously occupied for other uses, such as much needed homes. We want your help to shape some of these ideas including future work on improving the highway in the area. Please make sure you have your say."

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