A multi-million pound scheme to boost Bury St Edmunds town centre, preserve heritage and create shops and housing will be discussed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council later next Tuesday.
The council’s cabinet will discuss options including a potential £6.72 million investment in 17-18 Cornhill.
Proposals could include creating a new retail frontage in St Andrew’s Street South, widening the link to the town centre and protecting the historic frontage on Cornhill. Plans could also include creating new homes as part of the development.
If approved by cabinet on April 17 and subsequently full council on April 24, detailed design work will be carried out before a public exhibition this summer in preparation for a pre-planning and planning application later this year.
The borough council bought 17-18 Cornhill for £1.6 million late last year after the Post Office Ltd relocated into part of the neighbouring WH Smith.
The council identified the site as of strategic importance, due to the Town Centre Masterplan and its relationship to Cornhill/Buttermarket, Market Thoroughfare and St Andrew’s Street South.
The masterplan, which was adopted by the council in December, identified a need to improve the transition from the Arc shopping centre into the traditional town centre.
In the case of 17-18 Cornhill, the council is working with Donald Insall Associates to come up with designs that retain the Victorian Cornhill frontage while bringing it back into economic use, improve the look and feel of Market Thoroughfare and provide a new shopfront on to St Andrew’s Street South, which could inspire other landowners and investors to make improvements in that street.
Cllr Alaric Pugh, cabinet member for planning and growth, said: “The council has been working closely with local groups through the masterplan and this process and their help will remain vital as this moves forward. I am looking forward to seeing designs further explored over the next month or so before they go on public exhibition in the summer.”
Cllr John Griffiths, council leader, said: “We are continuing to invest in our communities and businesses to bring wider benefits for all. This project is about ensuring that not just Bury town centre but the whole of West Suffolk continues to be a great place to live, work, shop, visit and enjoy for decades to come.”