Chamber calls for people to get involved with draft masterplan

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Bury St Edmunds is calling for people to get involved with the draft town centre masterplan.

Simon Burton, vice chairman of the chamber, said: “The future of our town centre, how it evolves and adapts to the challenges not just in population, but changes in retail trends, technology, and how it does all this while retaining its appeal to shoppers and visitors alike, is critical to the town’s success. That is why the Chamber has been so heavily involved in this project from the outset and why we are encouraging anyone with a local business, and indeed their staff, to get involved with the draft masterplan and take the time to help shape out town’s future. What they say now could really make the difference.”

Councillor Andrew Speed, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Town Council, said: “The ultimate aim is to ensure that in future years people are still able to get into Bury St Edmunds town centre however they chose to travel, that they are able to get around the town centre easily whatever their needs, and of course that there are enough interesting things to make them want to come to the town centre, whether that is in the form of a strong mix of independent and High Street retailers, a bustling market, good cafes and restaurants, popular events, as well as the town’s culture, leisure and heritage activities.”

The current consultation is the second chance for people to shape the town centre. The first, the issues and options consultation was held in February to April this year. From that came a number of suggestions including for part of the town centre to be pedestrianised, as well as calls for more public seating, and better cycle facilities.

The draft masterplan lists a number of aspirations for the town centre including:

· Extending the pedestrianisation of the Cornhill and Buttermarket
· Closing St Andrews Street South between The arc and the historic town centre to all traffic with the exception of delivery/ service vehicles
· Improving the appearance of Market Thoroughfare
· Extending the arc
· Providing on street bus services on St Andrews Street North and redeveloping the bus station
· More public seating
· Dedicated cycle facilities including secure storage
· More parking

The draft masterplan consultation is open until September 8.

The easiest way to take part is from the comfort of your own home.

Simply visit where you can click on the interactive map to see the aspirations for the various parts of the town centre, and then let us know what you like, and don’t like about the draft masterplan via the short questionnaire.

There are also displays where you can find out more at:
· The Cloisters, St Edmundsbury Cathedral
· The Apex
· West Suffolk House
· Leisure Centre, Beetons Way
· Library

The Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan is being co-produced by a working group comprising representatives of OurBuryStEdmunds Business Improvement District, the Suffolk Chamber in Bury St Edmunds, Bury St Edmunds market traders, The Bury Society, the Bury St Edmunds Town Trust, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council, working alongside urban design and town planning specialists David Lock Associates and Peter Brett Associates.

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