Councillors defer decision over Shire Hall townhouses in Bury St Edmunds

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Councillors will now make a decision as to whether to allow six townhouses to be built on the old car park at New Shire Hall in Bury St Edmunds, following a site visit on December 20.

The controversial plans have prompted strong objection from English Heritage, the Bury Society and the Southgate Area Association.

A decision over the scheme was due to be made by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee on Thursday with planning officers recommending approval.

English Heritage said the proposed houses would be too close to an Abbey Wall, a designated monument.

“We consider that it would have a severely adverse impact on the setting of the designated monument, having an overwhelming effect which would lead to substantial harm to its significance,” it said in a report to the committee.

The Bury Society and Southgate Area Association said it would‘exacerbate’ parking problems.

They also criticised the fact that the scheme is for three and four storey town houses and does not help the need for smaller affordable housing.

Planning officers argued the Abbey Wall would not be damaged and would be made more visible as Ivy would be removed.

They have also said the 12 parking spaces allocated would be enough.

But councillors voted to have a site visit before making any decision.