People get chance to comment on concept designs detailing future for centre of Sudbury

Residents and visitors to Sudbury are being invited to have their say on the future of the town’s central public space.

The next stage design concept reveals how Market Hill could become a pedestrian-friendly space for shoppers, visitors, and events.

The design layout offers a flexible layout with three distinct areas which could be used individually or combined for events and market days. It is hoped the new-look Market Hill area could boost footfall through the town to support shops and businesses, improve connectivity and town centre experience and become a focal point for the town.

At the start of this year, a public exhibition “What Next for Sudbury?” welcomed over 800 people who had the opportunity to see and comment of a range of projects. In addition to the high-level plans to redesign Market Hill, other projects included proposals to move the Hamilton Road bus station to an on-street stops route around the town.

The concept designs for Market Hill have incorporated feedback from the “What Next for Sudbury?” exhibition and from partners in the Sudbury Vision Steering Group. Local businesses, retailers and stakeholders have already had an opportunity to comment on the plans in the first phase of engagement earlier this autumn.

Babergh District Council, working in partnership with Suffolk County Council, commissioned WSP Consultants to develop the plans as part of the wider Sudbury Vision programme.

With social distancing restrictions, the concept designs will be available to view online rather than through a public exhibition from tomorrow, Friday, November 5, through to Thursday, December 3. Feedback can be provided either by completing an online questionnaire or by email.

Plans to display the design concepts in a local shop window are being confirmed.

Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and Chair of the Sudbury Steering Group, Michael Holt, said: “This has been a challenging year for many town centres around the country. These proposals look at how the area can be used in the future by the community, market and local businesses as well as preserving and showing the unique heritage that Sudbury has to offer. Our aim is to create a positive space for the community, and I encourage residents to share their thoughts and feedback online.”

And Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, added: “These are transformational proposals which we are committed to developing with local residents and local businesses. We will consider all responses very carefully and will take people’s views on board before making any final decisions. We want to create a space in the centre of Sudbury which the whole community can be proud of. This will be something to look forward to; the other side of the challenging times we are currently all facing.”

Alongside the town centre recovery work, other elements of the regeneration programme have progressed this year included:

  • The launch of the Virtual High Street;
  • Installation of bicycle storage through the Active Travel fund;
  • Successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid by St. Peter’s Church;
  • Ongoing development at Gainsborough’s House;
  • The £2.4m Kingfisher Leisure Centre extension and refurbishment;
  • Successful bid for a pilot scheme for solar car ports from the Government’s Getting Building Fund

The proposals for Market Hill and associated questionnaire will be available to access through Babergh District Council’s website and feedback must be submitted by 5pm on December 3.

Further information about the design concept and feedback forms can be found on Babergh District Council’s website from tomorrow https://www.babergh.gov.uk/markethillsurvey.

Alternatively, the online survey can be downloaded and returned by email:markethillfeedback@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk

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