Former Warehouse Clearance Superstore bought by council
A former Bury St Edmunds retail site bought by the borough council could provide parking to support a £125million regeneration project in the town.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council has purchased the former Warehouse Clearance Superstore site in Anglian Lane for £1.71m to support long-term plans for the Western Way area.
The Western Way development will see health, leisure, and education services brought together on one site, and the council says it will “transform public services” across west Suffolk.
Under the proposals, the current Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and swimming pool, in Beetons Way, could be moved within the site to integrate with health services.
The council says the purchase secures the unused site for the future but the authority will be looking for a temporary use to cover costs for the tax payer in the short-term.
Going forward the site could retain a commercial use, take on a public sector use or may form part of the wider transport plan for the development by providing off-site parking.
It is calculated that the 2.12-acre former retail site, which has planning permission for access onto Beetons Way, could accommodate around 250 surface parking spaces if needed.
This could help reduce the need for more expensive and inflexible multi-storey car parking on the Western Way site itself, according to the council.
John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “By investing to secure ownership and control of this site, the council has given itself options that will benefit our communities and tax payers.
“It could remain a commercial site or help deliver the full potential of the Western Way masterplan which will support jobs, health, education and better delivery of services.”
The council says money for the purchase cannot be used to simply plug the gap in budgets as eventually it would run out, but can be used to achieve strategic aims.
Mr Griffiths added: “This purchase also gives us the potential to further explore a number of other possibilities including letting the unit which would create an additional source of income that will help towards paying for the day to day services that we deliver to our local residents and businesses.”