Western Way public services hub plans approved
- Credit: West Suffolk Council/Pick Everar
Plans for the multi-million pound Western Way public services hub featuring health, council, leisure and police services in Bury St Edmunds have been approved.
West Suffolk Council’s development control committee have rubber stamped the authority’s scheme to develop the former depot in Olding Road, and a smaller adjoining site into the hub.
The full list of future services that will eventually be housed in the complex, costing around £110 million, is yet to be finalised.
But it is expected to include to include council and government services, the NHS, an advice centre, voluntary organisations and community and education providers.
There will also be a new pool and leisure centre, demolishing the ageing facility nearby, and an enhanced skate park.
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The pool would be a 10-lane 25m facility, along with a separate learners’ pool. There would also be a leisure zone including a splash park with slides, jets and water cannons.
A four-court sports hall will cater for a range of indoor sports and activities, while a new pavilion is proposed adjacent to the existing athletics track.
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The existing skate park off Olding Road will stay in its existing location but will be reconfigured and enlarged as part of the development.
But here are concerns about the impact of the scheme on the nearby athletics track, which would lose some its warm-up and waiting area – important when hosting large tournaments.
The build will also feature improvements to the junction with Newmarket Road West, where a roundabout is set to replace the signals.
But members, while supportive of the scheme, said there were still public concerns about the impact on traffic in the town while work is carried out.
The scheme involves a range of partners who will now examine the planning requirements and the next phases of the scheme, including the impact of COVID-19 and a requirement to provide more details on a travel plan and changes to the athletics track.
A report will be going to West Suffolk Council Cabinet at a later date.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are pleased that another important step has been taken along the way to deliver another ground-breaking initiative in West Suffolk.
“Not only will people be able to access health, leisure, education and public services on one site but it shows that working together across the public sector in new ways can bring greater benefits to health and wellbeing.
“We are now looking forward to working with our partners to consider the next stages of delivering this long-term and exciting project, which if anything, recent events have shown is even more needed than ever.”