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Belle Vue plans discussed at meeting

PUBLISHED: 21:13 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:13 21 March 2019

The yellow area shows the potential land in Belle Vue Park which could be developed under the plans Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL/GOOGLE MAPS

The yellow area shows the potential land in Belle Vue Park which could be developed under the plans Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL/GOOGLE MAPS

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Controversial plans for Belle Vue Park topped the agenda at Sudbury Town Council's annual meeting.

Around 100 people packed into the town Hall to hear Cllr John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council, talk about its scheme for a budget hotel, a pub/restaurant and a car park on part of the park.

There were ocasional jeers and heckles from the audience during an hour-long session on Wednesday March 20 where Cllr Ward outlined the proposals and answered questions from the floor.

The council says the scheme will regenerate a rundown corner of the town centre and provide much needed hotel accommodation to the town as well as boost the economy.

There is support in the town for the scheme but the proposals are also opposed by many, who accuse the council of having already “made up its mind” that it should go ahead.

They say it is the wrong place for such a hotel, will undermine existing B&B businesses and hotels, generate more traffic, and pose a risk to families having to negotiate the car park to access the park itself.

Cllr Ward told the meeting: “This site has been derelict for far too long and since 2015 Babergh has wanted to so something about that, and for Sudbury in general.

“We need to attract visitors to the town. We need hotel accommodation. There’s growing demand for it all all over the county, not just in Sudbury.”

But protestor Stuart Poole, who is leading a campaign against the scheme, said the council was missing “a once in a lifetime” opportunity to improve traffic around the area and bring Belle Vue House and the park back into proper use after being allowed to decay in recent years.

He said afterwards: “As far as the council is concerned the deal is sealed.”

A protest rally has been organised at Belle Vue Park on April 6.Detailed plans are now being prepared for a planning application later this year.

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