New café and toilet plan for Belle Vue Park
Proposals to replace aging and vandal-prone toilets at Sudbury’s Belle Vue Park with a new environmentally friendly café and fully accessible facilities go before Babergh District Council’s cabinet next month.
A report going before Babergh’s cabinet members on September 5 focuses on approval for funding for the project – as part of wider plans for investment in improvements to the park.
The plans would mean demolishing the existing 1930s toilet block, now in poor condition, and replacing it with a more sustainable modular building, housing a community café and toilet block including a Changing Places unit, offering local people and visitors to the town centre park modern and fully accessible facilities.
Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh District Council cabinet member for economic growth, said:
"This is something the Council has wanted to do for several years. Supporting the regeneration of the town centre and investing in the future of the park is something we know will be welcomed by local residents and visitors to the park alike. Assuming cabinet and planning approval, we will finally be in a position to start delivering some real economic, environmental, and social benefits for Belle Vue Park and the wider town.”
Pending cabinet approval, the work would be funded through a number of sources, including using the capital receipt from the sale of Belle Vue House which was bought by developers McCabe and Abel back in May, and a £45K grant following a successful bid for Changing Places funding.
The new building would then require planning consent with further consultation as part of the process but, if approved, could be in place by spring 2024. The proposed design is environmentally friendly, with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of ‘A’, solar PV, air source heat pumps and fittings.
Electric vehicle and bicycle charging points, biodiversity planting, and new play equipment and features are also being explored as part of the council’s wider strategy for the park.
Plans for a new park entrance are also in development, in consultation with Sudbury Town Council. Babergh has also partnered with Sudbury Town Council previously to provide CCTV at the park, in a bid to crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour.
Meanwhile, planning application documents for the conversion and restoration of Belle Vue House to form two private homes have been submitted by McCabe and Abel to Babergh District Council’s planning department for decision later this year.