About 370 people take part in consultation to help shape future of Bury town centre

The draft  Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan suggests pedestrianising Buttermarket and Cornhill
The draft Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan suggests pedestrianising Buttermarket and Cornhill
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About 370 people took part in the consultation to help shape the final version of a masterplan for Bury St Edmunds town centre.

Their comments made over the last six weeks will be used to revise the draft plan and the revised version will be considered by the town centre masterplan working group.

More than 1,140 people and community groups gave their views in the initial consultation for the masterplan. Both consultations cost a total of £8,000.

A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is one of the partners in the project, said: “We’re confident that the vast majority of people in and around Bury St Edmunds were made aware that this consultation was happening and so had the choice to take part.”

He said they reached more than 24,000 people through Facebook, they ran posts on Twitter and Instagram and held 11 public events. More than 1,000 hard copies of the draft masterplan document were also handed out.

The spokesman added: “So people had the choice to take part, and to those that did, whether they agreed with the vision set out in the draft or not, we are thankful and the final version of the masterplan will be shaped by what they had to say.”

The council has previously said the plans offer ‘aspirations’ for the town centre and major ideas include pedestrianisation of Cornhill and Buttermarket along with St Andrew’s Street South to provide a better link to the arc.

The aspiration for St Andrew’s Street North is for on-street bus bays, freeing the bus station site for shops.

Cllr Alaric Pugh, cabinet member for planning and growth at the borough council, said for the town centre to continue to succeed, it ‘will need to adapt’ due to the opportunities and challenges around more people using it and ‘unknowns around the changing way we choose to shop’.

The working group includes organisations representing retailers, market traders and other businesses as well as conservation groups.

A delivery plan will also be prepared to look at how the various aspirations may be achieved.

A final version of the masterplan will go before the borough council’s cabinet and full council in December.