Consultation brings in almost 6,000 suggestions for Bury centre masterplan

Stewart Belcher from Arc Centre Management, Mark Cordell of Our Bury St Edmunds, Rebecca Davis, Horticultural and Grounds Maintenance Officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Cllr Alaric Pugh, Melanie Lesser of Bury in Bloom with Bee Hoggett watering the flowers in the new St Andrew's Street planters.
Stewart Belcher from Arc Centre Management, Mark Cordell of Our Bury St Edmunds, Rebecca Davis, Horticultural and Grounds Maintenance Officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Cllr Alaric Pugh, Melanie Lesser of Bury in Bloom with Bee Hoggett watering the flowers in the new St Andrew's Street planters.
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Preserving the local identity and character of Bury St Edmunds was the issue most people highlighted for a town centre masterplan.

The working group behind the plan now has 5,857 suggestions to consider including in the final plan.

The first public saw 1,143 people and community groups give their views,

The top three issues highlighted were to preserve the local identity and character of the town (mentioned by 76 per cent) to preserve and enhance historic buildings and spaces (68 per cent) and to improve links between the arc and old town (55 per cent).

However, the survey noted that under 34s rated the arc/old town link more important than preserving historic buildings.

Asked what they would like to see more of, 80 per cent said more independent shops, 54 per cent wanted more cultural events and 45 per cent wanted more independent cafes and restaurants.

Only 15 per cent wanted no more housing, but 58 per cent called for more affordable homes.

While 47 per cent wanted more parking, 60 per cent called for more attractive pedestrian and cycle routes to town and 71 per cent wanted more access to green and open spaces.

The top five suggestions from the public were, more seating and meeting areas, pedestrianisation of certain places, better cycle and pedestrian routes, better pavements and more planters and trees.

Work has already begun on planters with seven new ones in St Andrew’s Street South.

A progress report to St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet, including all 5,857 suggestions, can be seen here

Work on a Bury town centre masterplanplan began in November 2016 with the basic idea being set down.

A working group of borough, town and county councillors and business, community and heritage group representatives prepared a report of issues and options by December.

That was put out for consultation between February 27 and April 21.

They are now producing a draft masterplan to be finished in July so the second six-week public consultation can begin on July 31.

The aim is to have it finalised by November 6 so that it can go for full approval by the council for acceptance as supplementary planning guidance by the end of 2017.