Date set for decision on new Bury St Edmunds leisure centre, pool and public services hub
PUBLISHED: 16:30 30 July 2020
West Suffolk Council/Pick Everard
Plans for a multi-million pound public services hub featuring health, council, leisure and police services in Bury St Edmunds are set to secure planning permission next week.
West Suffolk Council is working on an innovative project to develop the former depot in Olding Road into a hub for public services and a new pool and leisure centre, demolishing the ageing facility nearby.
MORE: What will Western Way public services hub look like?
While the full list of future services there is yet to be finalised, it is anticipated to include council and government services, the NHS, advice centre, voluntary organisations and community and education providers.
The matter is up for discussion by the council’s development control committee on Wednesday next week where it is recommended for approval.
Council leader John Griffiths said: “This proposal for a multi-million investment in West Suffolk is a nationally ground breaking modern facility to bring health, leisure, education, public services and commercial property together to not only make it easier for people to access services but drive better outcomes for local communities and create new jobs.
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“With the pandemic and the national focus on improved health and economic recovery, delivery of the Western Way masterplan is just as important as ever, as is the need to meet all of the various planning requirements.
“The intention has also always been that it will be cost neutral for the council tax payer.”
The development is set to use the existing steel frame at the site, and is centred around a ‘street’ idea with services branching off a central column and atrium.
Other potential uses in future include markets, exhibitions and sporting events.
The build will feature improvements to the junction with Newmarket Road West where a roundabout is set to replace the signals, although some concerns were raised by the Bury St Edmunds Society about increased traffic despite being “generally supporting” of the plans.
Bury St Edmunds Town Council objected to the plans with fears about increased traffic at the roundabout, a lack of electric vehicle charging points and a lack of facilities for athletes, among other concerns.
The plans, which have been in development for the last three years, were lodged in December. It is not yet clear when work may begin if approval is given.
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