Council to consider future for Belle Vue
New plans for the future of Belle Vue are set to be considered by Babergh District Council in response to the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The impact of Covid-19 meant plans to build a hotel and restaurant had to be shelved and now, new opportunities for the future of land around Belle Vue House and part of the old swimming pool site are being proposed.
The ambition has always been to transform this council-owned land in order to help rejuvenate the town and the council has now gone back out to the open market to explore what options exist post-Covid.
The site is approximately 0.43 hectares and comprises of Belle Vue House, car park and part of the old swimming pool site.
No part of Belle Vue Park is included in the proposal; however, the southern section of the old swimming pool site will be retained by Babergh District Council and is earmarked for a new park entrance with space for a new café, toilet facility and improved public realm.
The new entrance to Belle Vue Park will better connect the park to Sudbury town centre and while the Council is already exploring external funding streams, the report recommends that Babergh District Council divert up to 100% from the sale of the land to be used for the creation of the new park entrance.
The marketing process was open, meaning that both commercial and community organisations had the opportunity to submit a proposal that met the criteria which included long term sustainability, price and deliverability.
All the submitted bids have proposed retaining and refurbishing Belle Vue House for a range of different uses. The bids, along with any objections formally submitted in relation to the disposal of public open space land, will be considered by Babergh District Council at a cabinet meeting on Thursday 11 March.
By looking for a new owner for the site, Babergh District Council aim to meet their strategic priorities which include rejuvenating the districts vibrant market towns and supporting sustainable and connected communities.
Other initiatives being developed as part of the Sudbury Vision include potential for more pedestrian-friendly and improved flexible space around Market Hill, the introduction of creative wayfinding, and encouraging more people to walk and cycle into and around the town.
Last year, together with Sudbury Town Council, businesses in Sudbury were invited to join the Virtual High Street, which provides a digital window for the high street, connecting many local, independent businesses with their customers.
There has also been significant investment in leisure facilities including improvements to the public swimming facilities, extending the space for dance and community activities as well as expanding and upgrading the gym facilities at Kingfisher Leisure Centre. Belle Vue Park has also benefited from investment in new equipment and landscaping in the play park, a new multi-use games area and a new skatepark.
Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and Chair of the Sudbury Vision Steering Group, Cllr Michael Holt said:
“Despite having to revisit our plans for Sudbury because of the impact Covid-19, I am pleased we are now in a position to consider new opportunities. There are many initiatives being driven forward in Sudbury which support businesses, the incredible cultural offer as well as leisure activities. All of which will provide a boost for Sudbury, helping it to continue to be an attractive place to live, work and visit for many years to come.”