The first people to see the draft Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan seemed to generally welcome it.
The 100 people who went to a meeting organised by the Bury Society and Churchgate Area Association at The Athenaeum last week got an early preview of the plan.
Martyn Taylor, Bury Society chairman, said:“The meeting supported the general direction of the Draft Town Centre Masterplan but was still concerned about the traffic and parking issues.”
Richard Summers, a retired professional planner who lives in the town centre, coordinated the meeting and said most people were pleased with the way the character areas were arranged and the issues that had been picked up.
The pedestrianisation of Buttermarket and Cornhill was popular, as was improving the Tayfen Road link between the station and town centre.
St Andrews Street North it was felt ‘lets the town down’ though some had doubts about replacing the bus station with on-street bus bays. It was suggested St Andrews Street car park be developed with multi-storey parking and a better bus station.
The proposals for mixed use development in the Ram Meadow area were questioned mainly because of problems of providing road access.
There was discussion about swapping leisure and car parking either side of Parkway. But people agreed with the consultants on the need for better pedestrian routes across Parkway.
People wanted to see more shopping space in the Kings Road and Robert Boby Way area, again with better pedestrian and cycle routes.
In the Lark and Linnet Riverside area there were concerns about wildlife management.
People agreed that pedestrian and cycle routes across the whole town centre should be improved.
Concerns that development would affect heritage assets were echoed by a strong plea that the town centre should be ‘for people and not cars’.!
Mr Summers said the A major theme was the need for more shopping.
He adde: “Many people at first said ‘no’. But then others pointed out the effect of planned housing development, the draw of tourist attractions and the historic role of Bury St Edmunds as a market town that is still relevant today and for the future.”
nThe easiest way to have your say is online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/bsemasterplan
Public engagement events offering people the chance to find out more and talk to some of the project team, will be held through August at:
Bury Market, 7.30am to 4pm on the 5th
Bury Leisure Centre, 10am to 5pm on the 10th
Tesco, St Saviours Exchange, 10am to 7pm on the 11th
Bury Market, 7.30am to 4pm on the 16th
The Apex, Charter Square, 6pm to 8.30pm on the 16th
Charter Square, the arc, 9.30am - 5.30pm on the 19th
Bury Library, Sergeants Walk 10am to 5pm on the 22nd
Asda, Western Way, 10am to 7pm on the 23rd
Waitrose, Robert Boby Way, 10am to 7pm on the 24th
Bury Food and Drink Festival, The Apex, Charter Square, 10am to 4pm on the 28th
There are displays at The Apex, West Suffolk House and Bury Leisure Centre and Library
Leaflets and contact cards with the online links are available at: CAB Risbygate Street, Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury Town Council offices, The Athenaeum, Skyliner Leisure Centre, St Edmundsbury Cathedral information point and Haverhill Arts Centre