Council secures control over future regeneration of town centre site

Diane Hind and Indy Wijenayaka at the site in Haverhill. Photo: West Suffolk Council.

West Suffolk Council has acquired control over the future redevelopment of a key town centre site in Haverhill, after a former doctor’s surgery was put up for auction.

The council has bought the freehold of the former Stourview Medical Centre for £250,000 after its previous occupants, Haverhill Family Practice, consolidated onto a single site at Camps Road.

The purchase is part of the council’s strategic priority for sustainable growth which includes the regeneration of Haverhill town centre.

The building was identified as a key site for town centre redevelopment in the Haverhill Town Centre Masterplan, a planning document designed to steer future growth in the town centre up to 2031.

In the short to medium term, the council is already speaking to a number of possible tenants with a view to bringing more town centre footfall and rental income.

In the longer term, the site may be redeveloped as part of a project to regenerate Jubilee Walk in line with the vision set out in the masterplan. That could include a mixed-use redevelopment designed both to boost the local economy as well as the possibility of a community space and residential development to further support town centre living.

Indy Wijenayaka, cabinet member for Growth at West Suffolk Council, said: “We have acted swiftly to seize this opportunity, so we have control over how the future regeneration of this site is developed. In the short term we will look to swiftly secure partner tenants who will bring social and economic benefits to the town centre as well as further footfall.

“In the longer term, this will enable us to look at some of the possibilities that a commercial developer would likely ignore, making improvements to the public realm that will benefit the wider town centre supporting our strategic priority for sustainable growth of the town centre, as well as creating a more attractive environment supporting the town centre as a place of social activity to help our communities to thrive.”

The property has been purchased through the council’s Investing in Growth Fund.

Diane Hind, cabinet member for Resources at the council: “This is a site that presents significant development opportunities to help shape the future of Haverhill town centre. By taking control, we can work with partner organisations and look at how we best achieve benefits for the town centre economy and the communities in and around Haverhill.

“This also presents opportunities to create further income to support the day-to-day council services that we provide to residents across West Suffolk.

“Council tax makes up just 15 per cent of what it costs to deliver our services. That’s why income from investments such as this is so important to keeping council tax as low as we can and support the continuing work that we do on behalf of communities across the whole of West Suffolk.”

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