St Edmundsbury Borough Council buys former Warehouse Clearance Superstore for £1.71m
The former Warehouse Clearance Superstore in Bury St Edmunds has been bought by St Edmundsbury Borough Council for £1.71 million.
The council bought the vacant retail site, in Anglian Lane, Bury St Edmunds, as an investment, to support long-term plans to develop the Western Way area and to gain control over its future use.
The council is working on a regeneration project, pictured below, for the Western Way area to bring health, education, leisure and services together.
The purchase of the Warehouse Clearance store secures the site for a range of short term and long term uses to help promote employment or support work to make public services more accessible.
The site could retain a commercial use or take on a public sector use, while it could also form part of the wider transport plan for the Western Way development by providing off-site car parking.
In the short-term, the council plans to look for a temporary use to cover its costs for the taxpayer.
Under the council's Investment Strategy for Growth the authority seeks to invest in assets that either help bring income to support services or bring an employment or social benefit for local communities.
This strategic acquisition has been made using £1.71 million of capital, including Stamp Duty Land Tax and purchaser's costs – money that cannot be used to plug budget gaps but can be used to achieve strategic aims and to create savings or income towards services.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: "By investing to secure ownership and control of this site, the council has given itself options that will benefit our communities and taxpayers.
"This purchase also gives us the potential to further explore a number of other possibilities, including letting the unit, which would create an additional source of income that will help towards paying for the day-to-day services we deliver."
It is calculated that the 2.12 acre former retail site, which has planning permission for access on to Beetons Way, could accommodate around 250 surface parking spaces if needed. Although this would be subject to planning consent and require further investment, this could help to reduce the need for more expensive and inflexible multi-storey car parking on the Western Way site itself.