Future for Belle Vue confirmed
A new era for Belle Vue House and entrance for Belle Vue Park to welcome town centre visitors were agreed by cabinet members of Babergh District Council last night (Thursday).
Council-owned land comprising of Belle Vue House, the car park and the northern part of the old swimming pool site, was openly marketed between December 2020 and February 2021, with the six bids received from both community and commercial organisations reviewed against a set criteria including long term sustainability, price and deliverability. All bids sought to retain and restore Belle Vue House.
Due to the inclusion of commercially sensitive information, councillors had to hear details of the bids in a closed part of the meeting, but the recommended proposal in the report was approved. This proposal was to create a new retirement living development plus a conversion of the existing Belle Vue house back into private living accommodation. The decision will be subject to a five day 'call in' period.
The report recommended that up to 100% of the capital receipt from the sale of the site to be reinvested into the creation of the proposed new entrance for Belle Vue Park by the Council.
The new entrance to the park will provide residents and visitors with a welcoming and fully accessible public space and an improved connection to the town and will be complemented by a new café and new toilets.
The land being sold does not include Belle Vue Park, which councillors have pledged will remain as a valuable green asset for the town to enjoy for generations to come. The land being sold is also only part of the old swimming pool site as the remainder will be retained for the creation of the new park entrance. .
Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and Chair of the Sudbury Vision Steering Group, Cllr Michael Holt said: “The proposals we received were very varied and we considered each application as well as all the submitted objections against a set of criteria and how this decision would ultimately benefit Sudbury. I am delighted that we have been able to make a decision that secures the future for Belle Vue House and the surrounding land.
“Confirming the future for Belle Vue is part of our wider vision for Sudbury which includes rejuvenating the town and creating a place where people want to live, work and visit for many years to come.”
There are several other initiatives being developed as part of the Sudbury Vision including 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 initiative, 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.