What the public thinks on big plans for Sudbury
PUBLISHED: 20:09 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:18 29 January 2020
A two day exhibition outlining proposals for the future of Sudbury has got underway and the public were keen to find out more.
The first designs of the controversial hotel and restaurant proposal for the old swimming pool in Belle Vue Park were among the plans being showcased in Babergh District Council's 'What Next For Sudbury' at St Peter's church and centre in Market Hill.
Other schemes on display include proposals for the future of Belle Vue House, and plans to move buses out of the current bus station and into the town centre.
Gerry Ford and wife Jane, who live in Sudbury and used to run Ford's Bistro and the Red Onion restaurants in the town, had mixed feelings.
Mr Ford said he supported the idea of a hotel in principle, but said of the proposed design: "It looks frightful. It looks exactly what you would expect it to.
"I like the idea of a hotel there but it could look nicer. As for the restaurant, I don't think it is the kind of place people in the town will go to."
Mrs Ford said she felt Belle Vue House would be best used as sheltered accommodation: "There is a huge increase in the number of people over 80 and there is nowhere for them in Sudbury."
Chris White, from Long Melford, said she was concerned at the idea for town centre for bus stops: "The traffic here is shocking now. The streets are narrow and would be clogged even more if this were to go through."
Her friend Rosie Eade, also from Long Melford, said: "I like the idea of a hotel, especially a Premier Inn-type as it will encourage people to stay in Sudbury overnight."
Sue Lawson of Edgeworth Road said: "It's car parking in the town centre that I'm worried about. It's getting rather silly now, there isn't enough.
Penny Lawson, of Little Waldingfield, said: "I think the hotel will bring in jobs. Whether it will also bring in extra traffic we will have to wait and see.
"I don't know if the bus station idea is enough, although it is suffering being so near the railway station."
Darren Cox has a fruit and veg stall in Sudbury market and said the ideas were good in principle but said how they were introduced would be crucial.
"Change is always a good thing and the town has to move forward with the times," he said.
"But I think this is a one-stop-shop-that-fixes-all approach and they need to be careful they don't strangle the life out of the town centre making that change.
"A lot of the ideas in principle are fantastic, it's how they go about implementing them. Too much too soon and I worry Sudbury might not come through to the other side."
The second day of the event is tomorrow (Thursday January 30) and runs from 2pm-7pm.