ambitions for sudbury town centre
Described by John Betjeman as 'Probably the finest urban space in East Anglia', our town centre is a unique and special place which is enjoyed by both local residents and visitors from further afield. Its continued prosperity is important both for the social benefit of the local community and for the economic wellbeing of the town. In common with many other town centres however, its vibrancy is under threat. Changes in consumer behaviour combined with a business rates system that disproportionately benefits large online businesses and leaves high street independents struggling for survival is a constant threat to the vibrancy of our town.
To ensure that Sudbury Town Centre is fit to face these challenges, and a recognition of the changing function of town centres, the council's 'Ambitions' document sets out a number of ideas aimed at preserving the vitality of the area by ensuring that it remains an attractive place to visit in the years to come. The 'Ambitions for Sudbury Town Centre' document was adopted by the full Council in July 2018.
The plan, which has been prepared with the support of Babergh District Council, is the outcome of several years' work, initially carried out by the Town Steering Group. In recent years the Town Council, led by former Councillor Robin Drury and Councillor Simon Barrett, has taken on responsibility. 'Ambitions for Sudbury Town Centre' is a 'living document' which will alter as the viability of the ideas contained within it are scrutinised and tested, but it is hoped that the vision that it expresses will become a reality.
Please take the time to look at the document carefully and let us know what you think. All feedback will be discussed by Councillors, and, where appropriate, incorporated into our plans.
This work has laid the foundations and been adopted by Babergh District Council to inform the ongoing 'Vision for Sudbury' - see below for the results of a major public exhibition and public consultation held in January 2020.
What Next For Sudbury? / sudbury vision 2020
On Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 January 2020 Babergh District Council hosted the What next for Sudbury? public exhibition at St Peter's in Sudbury. Thank you to everyone took time to attend, ask questions and leave valuable feedback.
The event showcased developments already taking place across the town, including investment in Kingfisher Leisure Centre and St Peter’s regeneration project as well as sharing updates on future proposals for areas such as Belle Vue and Gainsborough’s House.
The event gave 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 provided 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, there was also an opportunity to leave feedback in response to the proposed plans in Febraruary 2020. Some findings from the public survey responses can be found on Babergh District Council's website here.