Vision 2031 is a consultative process that the St Edmundsbury Borough Council has embarked upon to create a vision for the town’s development over the next 20 years. When the process is complete Vision 2031 will provide a plan for addressing the key issues that face the town. Read more about the Bury Society's response to the plans.
The Society gave general support to the plans for future housing, but we questioned how the new development will be prioritized - suggesting town centre sites should be built ahead of out of town schemes.
We also called for a variety of housing densities integrating larger and smaller properties including affordable housing to create sustainable communities. We asked for the active promotion of imaginative house design. We suggested smaller parcels of land could be earmarked within larger sites to encourage diversity of design - perhaps these could be developed by local builders or self build groups so that we are less dependent upon national house builders.
We asked that pressure be put on Network Rail to open up the sidings alongside the railway station so that the land on Tayfen Road can be brought forward for redevelopment as soon as possible. We suggested the establishment of a design panel made up of representatives from the local community to assist with the consideration of town centre schemes.
The Society supports the more efficient use of public transport and improved pedestrian links into the town - with much less dependence on the car. However we asked how the new infrastructure will dovetail with new housing starts recognising the difficulties of making significant changes to the existing roads.
We urged the Borough to lobby for the improvement of the A14 - but consider there has to be a limit on the ability of the town to accommodate the traffic generated by this major trunk route. In particular, we are concerned at the noise generated by the A14 and would like to see measures to mitigate this problem. We suggested plans include park & ride facilities close to the A14 junctions at Westley and Rougham Hill.
We welcomed ideas for extending car free areas within the town centre and supported ‘pedestrian priority’ areas with the imaginative use of textured surfaces for demarcation. Secure bicycle shelters we considered a must. The Society supported the Borough’s aspirations to improve the Cambridge rail link - we would also support a new Railway Halt at Moreton Hall.
The Society supported the section on sustainable energy. However, we considered that there should be a more holistic view of sustainability - including criteria such as carbon consumption, water consumption, transport infrastructure, health and well-being and specification of building materials.
The Society considered the restoration of the sugar lagoons as highly desirable. We also supported the sensitive use of the ‘Leg of Mutton’ land off Rougham Road for recreational use - however we would not support a new hotel as we consider that sufficient sites have already been identified within the town. We expressed reservations in respect of a relocation of the new hospital and suggested it be located to the north of the A14 Westley junction to allow for its future expansion.
The Borough’s evaluation of responses should be available in the autumn.
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