Babergh District Council has released further details of its plans for Belle Vue Park in Sudbury, whilst pledging to preserve the park as a green and open space for generations to come.
Proposals to transform the derelict former swimming pool area and small part of the park into a hotel were shared publicly last year as part of the Delivering a Vision of Prosperity for Sudbury action plan.
The development would be one of the largest building projects to take place in Sudbury for many years and shows growing confidence in the town – boosting the town’s economy through increased visitor numbers, visitor spending and job creation.
The council has now published a factsheet giving more details about the proposed development, alongside plans to further enhance the park – complementing the £150,000 already invested in its new multi-use play area and skatepark.
The document – available on the council website – includes answers to common questions about the development and an indicative plan of where development would take place, showing how existing vacant buildings could be replaced whilst still retaining Belle Vue Park as a high-quality green and open space.
Babergh District Council Leader Cllr John Ward said: “It’s time residents’ minds were put at rest. There will be no net loss of amenities at Belle Vue Park – only gain.
“Belle Vue House and the vast majority of the green areas of the park are unaffected by the scheme, which is mainly on derelict land where the old pool was sited.
“We stand by our previous commitment that any redevelopment of this site must secure the best possible outcome for Sudbury and the district as whole. This means helping the local economy grow; supporting tourism, providing jobs for local people; and maintaining Belle Vue Park as a green, open space with fit-for-purpose facilities for the whole community.”
Detailed development proposals are currently being prepared with a view to submitting a planning application later this year. As part of the planning process, there will be full consultation allowing everyone to see the detailed plans and have their say.
In the meantime, Babergh’s leaders pledge that any future development will not threaten the future of the park or its facilities, which the council has invested £150,000 in enhancing over the last 12 months and plans to further improve.
A multi-use games area was completed in November 2018 and a new skate/BMX park is due to open this Spring, following collaboration and feedback from Sudbury Town Council, community groups and skate park users to ensure the facilities would be fit for the park.
The old skate park can then be redesigned, retaining a multi-purpose hard surface area within the park so it can continue to be used for major town and community events such as the carnival and Party in the Park.
Cllr Jan Osborne, Deputy Leader of Babergh District Council, said:
“We’ve been working with the community here in Sudbury for a long time to be sure we understand what is needed, what is used and what residents want in Belle Vue Park. Any future development must be for the good of Sudbury regenerating the Park, delivering jobs and supporting tourism as well as retaining green space for use by the whole community.”
Cllr Margaret Maybury, Babergh District Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Belle Vue Park has been loved and cherished by users over decades. Our young people have asked for, positively engaged with councillors to develop new, modern games and sports areas. We will continue to listen to residents – both old and young – to ensure that Belle Vue Park can be enjoyed for generations to come.”