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Plans for 334-space car park at former Bury St Edmunds school withdrawn




Developers behind plans for a 334-space car park on a former school site in Bury St Edmunds have withdrawn proposals to iron out issues.

M&D Developments submitted proposals for the old St Benedict’s School lower school site at the start of the year, but after a series of objections have opted to withdraw the plans, re-work them, and submit a fresh bid later in the year.

The company is also behind a separate application to knock down the redundant school buildings and build nine homes, which it has confirmed is not being withdrawn.

The former St Benedict's School lower school site in Bury St Edmunds, which is being eyed for nine homes. Picture: Google Maps
The former St Benedict's School lower school site in Bury St Edmunds, which is being eyed for nine homes. Picture: Google Maps

David Harris from M&D said: “Following the consultation responses that came forward from the application we had a dialogue with the planners, and they felt we needed to provide further information to provide the opportunity to go forward.

“That’s why we are going away to make further reports to allow that to go forward.

“Once we get all of those reports back we will have another dialogue with planners.”

One of the additional reports needed is an air quality impact assessment because the car park would generate more than 500 vehicle movements per day.

West Suffolk Council’s environment team, which objected to the current plans, added that there was no information provided on the numbers of charging points for electric vehicles, which Suffolk standards suggest should be around 15 per cent of all spaces.

Historically, the 3.7 acre site was a part of the original grounds to St Andrew’s Castle built in 1820.

The house and grounds became a part of the Convent of Sister of St Louis in the 1930s, used as a day school until 1967 when St Benedict’s opened as a Catholic upper school. The lower school site closed last summer when it was amalgamated with the upper school in Beeton’s Way.

The castle itself is now used as offices and is owned separately.

However, Bury St Edmunds Town Council objected because it felt the proposals would still have a detrimental impact on the Grade II-Listed building, and question marks over the proposed entrance and exit points.

Mr Harris said the proposal would need to be reassessed once the coronavirus lockdown ends, but in the application said it would 'provide parking within easy reach of both the historic centre and the new retail areas of the town without the need to enter the narrow constricted inner town centre roads'.




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