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Suffolk Business Park vision could help to address affordability gap

Matt Kohler, John Birchall, Patrick Stanton and Simon Wilson at the launch
Matt Kohler, John Birchall, Patrick Stanton and Simon Wilson at the launch

A business park development could help to redress the ratio of earnings to average house prices, according to a St Edmundsbury Borough Council report.

An update to the council’s cabinet on Tuesday set out its vision for Suffolk Business Park (SBP), on the fringes of the Moreton Hall estate between Skyliner Way and the Rougham junction of the A14.

“Probably one of the biggest issues we face is the ratio of average earnings to average house prices,” said the cabinet report, adding the average salary in the borough is about £28,000, making the cost of the average semi-detached home eight to nine times the average income.

“It is important for us to start to improve the average income to reduce the affordability gap,” said the report.

The council’s vision for the park could help to offer opportunities for higher wages, provide businesses with a range of adaptable spaces and offer employment for the future growth of Bury St Edmunds.

“The town could grow by 5,350 new homes, which is over 10,000 additional people in the next few years,” it said.

Planning applications for new headquarters for Treatt, Servest and Festool, a BP petrol station and two warehouses at the park are already being considered.

The council does not own the land SBP will be built on – with the majority owned by Taylor Wimpey UK and the Rougham Estate – but said ‘we believe in being strong about our aspirations for SBP’ and would work in partnership with landowners.

It added: “The important thing is that SEBC is driving SBP to be the best it can.

Meanwhile, a reception on Friday to officially launch the park attracted 36 commercial agents from across East Anglia.

Simon Wilson of developer Jaynic, which is promoting Taylor Wimpey’s section of the site, said: “We had a tremendous turnout.”

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