New shops, 24-hour gym and flats set for eyesore shopping centre site
PUBLISHED: 16:30 28 August 2019
An eyesore shopping centre looks set to be demolished to make way for shops, a 24-hour gym and new flats.
Knightspur Homes said its plans to knock down the redundant Cornhill Walk Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds and create a new building featuring shops and leisure facilities on the ground floor, as well as 48 flats on the upper floors, could "revitalise the area".
The proposals had been pushed back from the spring by the council's planning committee because of design issues, but have been recommended for approval at next week's West Suffolk Council development control committee.
The officers' report, published ahead of the meeting, said it was considered a "well-designed and visually attractive scheme" while the revised designs had "minimised" the adverse impacts.
The plans are subject to approval of financial agreements, including £73,086 for education provision in the area, and £41,665 towards a pre-school.
The developers the mixed-use of homes, shops and leisure in Brentgovel Street would "allow for more activity through the day".
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It added: "The current shopping mall is a distinct modernist building that does not quite fit within its locale.
"The proposed development encompasses a mix of traditional and contemporary elements to conform to its setting.
"It has been designed with an aim to improve the views within the Bury St Edmunds Conservation Area that it is located in."
Since the previous meeting in March, only minor amendments have been made to the plans.
However, the plans have attracted some opposition, including 81 public objections and concerns from some consultees.
The Bury Society said the height and scale of the development would impact upon neighbours' privacy, and added: "The long-term viability of almost 18,000sq ft of retail/commercial use is simply not sustainable in this location.
"The town will despair if in a few years' time we are again faced with boarded-up shop fronts."
Bury St Edmunds Town Council said the scheme did not meet with the Vision 2031 blueprint and added "the council will seek to preserve or enhance the townscape and landscape setting of the Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Conservation Area".