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16 February 2010, 06:40 | Updated: 16 February 2010, 06:49
Part of Sudbury could be getting a makeover.
The Hamilton Road area - described as an eyesore by many in the town - could be revamped if the bus station's moved.
Councillors on Babergh District Council's Strategy Committee have given their backing to a popular proposal that could result in the transformation of this run-down part of Sudbury.
The Hamilton Road area is owned by various landowners, south of St Peter's Church and to the west of Great Eastern Road and includes the bus station. Babergh District Council, which owns the bus station, has teamed up with Suffolk County Council to work with local groups and others to collect the public's views on a number of potential options for the area.
After one of the most widespread consultations of its type in the district, that saw thousands of local people attending exhibitions and visiting a purpose-built website, plus nearly 200 formal responses, councillors have given their backing to the third of three options on offer for the Hamilton Road Quarter in the town.
Option 3 entails the relocation of the bus station to the south-east corner of the site with vehicular access in and out via Great Eastern Road. The existing bus station site would become partly pedestrianised and could attract outlets relating to the evening economy, such as restaurants located alongside Borehamgate. Two and/or three-storey mixed-use (retail/residential/leisure) buildings would be built on the remainder of the site.
46% of those who responded to the consultation backed this option.
According to Cllr. Nick Ridley, Chairman of the Strategy Committee, "the consultation results and the advice of our planning experts shows that Option 3 is the way forward. After more than two decades of good ideas, but little action on this site, now is the time to take advantage of this golden opportunity for a better Sudbury town centre".
With the backing of the Strategy Committee, Babergh planners, working with Suffolk County Council and other partners, will now be trying to make Option 3 a reality, starting with initial discussions with landowners in the Hamilton Road Quarter.