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Contractor appointed for landmark town centre development

A Suffolk builder has been appointed to work on the next stage of a £6.72 million landmark development in the heart of Bury St Edmunds town centre.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council bought the empty former Post Office site at 17-18 Cornhill and held a public exhibition of designs in the summer.

Those designs, which were warmly welcomed, included keeping the historic Cornhill front, and redeveloping the rest of the site to provide a wider walkway at Market Thoroughfare. It will also create a new frontage onto St Andrews Street South which could trigger other owners to invest in improving this area, and also aims to deliver much needed housing.

Now the Council has selected Barnes Construction as its pre-construction contractor.

Cllr Susan Glossop, Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “As we would do for any major project, it is important to get advice that will help not only with our planning application, but also with the building programme, all the while mindful to keep any disruption to local residents, visitors and businesses to the absolute minimum. This advice will also help to ensure that our ambitions for dramatic improvements to Market Thoroughfare and St Andrews Street South remain realistic and achievable, providing economic and social benefits for our communities and local businesses as well.”

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We are looking to invest a lot of money in this exciting town centre project. Through it we will deliver on improvements that will not only make the town centre even more vibrant and attractive but also show the potential of what can be achieved in the area to other landowners and investors. This is also about the Council leading and delivering on things that people asked for during our work on the town centre masterplan in 2017. That is why this appointment is an important milestone in this prestigious town centre project and why I am so delighted to have Barnes on board to help us take it forward.”

Mark Bailey, Director at Barnes Construction commented: We are delighted to have been appointed to work on helping deliver this prestigious landmark redevelopment. We are keen to develop a build programme that minimises disruption to the town centre, particularly around the busier times of the year such as the run up to next Christmas.”

The Council has taken the decision not to submit the planning application for the site in the run up to Christmas when many people may not have a chance to view them. Instead it will discuss the plans with town centre partners next month with a view to submitting a planning application in early February.

Picture credit: St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Sue Wilcock