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Home > Features > Sharing the future for Sudbury

Sharing the future for Sudbury

Our public exhibition – What next for Sudbury? – took place at St Peter’s, Market Hill, Sudbury between 2pm and 7pm on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 January.

The event showcased developments already taking place across the town, including investment in Kingfisher Leisure Centre and St Peter’s regeneration as well as sharing updates on future proposals for areas such as Belle Vue and Gainsborough’s House.

The event gives residents their first glimpse at plans for the proposed hotel and restaurant on the site of the former swimming pool at Belle Vue ahead of any planning application being submitted, as well as more information on proposals for the future use of Belle Vue House and investment in facilities for Belle Vue Park.

The event also provides an opportunity to share the findings of the recent town centre study commissioned by Suffolk County Council and supported by Babergh District Council.

Speaking about the event, Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council leader, said:

“We are investing heavily and working with a number of partners to realise a vision for Sudbury and ensure a bright and healthy future for the town – and we are now in a position to explain things in a joined-up way for residents.

“We have listened to feedback through previous consultations and want to be open and clear about our thoughts for the future – giving the local community every possible chance to understand our rationale and continue to give us their views.”

Information and plans shared at the event are available below together with an opportunity to give feedback, for residents that were unable to attend the exhibition.

The 'What next for Sudbury' survey closed on 16 February 2020.

Survey responses

We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to give us their views in response to our What next for Sudbury exhibition.  We received 569 completed questionnaires, providing valuable feedback to help councillors decide on next steps.  Many of those responded had visited the exhibition in person or seen the plans in the local media, while nearly a third had viewed the information and plans on our website.

We now need time to work our way through all the information we’ve received.  It’s only right that we discuss what people have told us with interested parties and partners first before sharing anything more widely – but the comments that we’ve received will be invaluable in several ways, including informing our planning application for the proposed hotel and restaurant, and in helping councillors make an informed decision about the future of Belle Vue House later this summer.

Clearly, there are areas where opinion is still divided.  The hotel and restaurant proposals generated the most feedback, with respondents describing the plans as  both ‘tasteful’ and a ‘monstrous eyesore’.  We received comments from those dubious over the necessity of a hotel alongside comments that it is ‘essential’ to the growth of the town, plus numerous impassioned pleas to ‘just get on with it!’.

Although we understand these frustrations, we are committed to listening to our residents, businesses and communities and following a rigorous and open process to ensure everyone understands our plans and next steps.  We will continue to keep everyone updated as each element of the Sudbury vision progresses.