May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Saturday, June 16, 2012
THE REGISTRATION of births, deaths and marriages is a service which is due to continue in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk County Council has said.
There had been a question mark for some years over the future of the register office in the town centre.
Previously owned by Suffolk County Council, St Margaret’s, located at New Shire Hall, is currently being leased by the authority from a private owner.
But plans which were submitted at the end of last year by Dr Peter Kilner and his wife to return St Margaret’s to a “fine town house” have been granted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
When the East Anglian Daily Times approached the county council about the future of register office services in the town, a spokeswoman said: “Suffolk County Council is in the process of securing a lease of a property within the town centre from which to provide register office services.
“We hope to have been successful in gaining a lease and to be established at the new site by December 2012.”
She added that people who already had ceremonies or other such appointments booked at St Margaret’s were being kept in the loop about what was happening.
“There will definitely be something in Bury,” she said.
But she said the authority was unable to reveal yet which building is on the cards.
Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society, described it as “excellent news” that register office services would stay in the town, adding that he was “absolutely delighted”.
“It’s obviously very welcome news. We were very concerned we might lose the facility and I hope the county council is successful in securing suitable premises.”
Sue Sollohub, a Bury Society committee member, said she was concerned about whether the new property would be as attractive for marriages as St Margaret’s.
She said currently couples had a lovely setting for wedding pictures by the statue of St Edmund, the cathedral and the Great Churchyard, adding that the Georgian Marriage Room was “beautiful”.
A statement submitted with the planning application for St Margaret’s said it was sold to Dr and Mrs Kilner in February 2011.
It said Dr Kilner, a doctor and furniture designer and cabinet maker, had a strong interest in architectural design and considerable firsthand experience in the sensitive restoration and adaption of historic buildings having designed and fabricated many aspects of these projects himself.
Mr Jary said: “I’m sure the new owner will make sure it goes back to its period and it will be first class.”