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Development Plans and Issues Facing Bury St Edmunds Property Build

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Wed 01 May 2024

Development Plans and Issues Facing Bury St Edmunds Property Build

While history is a massive factor in why many people decide to live in Bury St Edmunds, there is a need to move forward. New homes and developments are necessary here, as they are across the country, but it isn’t a case of simply saying we should build more homes. There is often a lot to consider, and one recent planning application highlights many of the issues which impact the Bury St Edmunds housing market.

Plans to redevelop the site of the former St James Ceva Middle School have ignited discussions among local residents, authorities, and stakeholders. The proposed development, which aims to transform the site into a residential area, has faced objections and undergone revisions to address concerns raised by various parties.

The St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Board and M & D Ltd initially submitted proposals last April for the site located in The Vinefields. The plans included the partial demolition of existing school buildings, the conversion of three buildings into 14 homes, and the construction of nine homes within three terrace blocks, accompanied by associated parking and landscaping.

Sports facilities are a crucial part of modern living for a community

However, the development has encountered a number of objections from organisations and individuals alike. Sport England raised concerns about the loss of playing fields, including a hard-surfaced area marked for three tennis courts, overlayed by two netball courts, and the loss of a block of seven mini courts. The body suggested that the proposal may be considered acceptable if the loss is mitigated through a developer contribution towards a project regarding netball and tennis facilities.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council recommended refusal, citing concerns about overdevelopment, vehicle access, lack of EV charging points, and the potential obstruction of historic views from Abbeygate Street. The council also proposed using the proposed amenity lawn space to extend the Abbey Gardens and make it available as public space.

The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership objected to the amended proposals, stating that two repositioned new buildings would extend beyond the footprint of the existing school buildings within the lower level of the river valley. They expressed concerns about the redevelopment opening up extensive areas of car parking within the site with limited landscape screening of views from the Abbey ruins, and the lack of protection for the tree belt screen near the River Lark.

Neighbouring residents also raised concerns about traffic flow in the Vinefields area.

Developers have attempted to compromise to achieve their aims

In response to the objections, the applicants revised the scheme in October. Changes included reducing the garden size for one of the buildings to avoid a relationship with the historic boundary wall and altering an access road to include a pavement and dedicated vehicle access.

In December, the developers submitted additional details, highlighting that the development is in a sustainable area close to many facilities and that the site is already developed with a large area of buildings. They emphasised that the main historic feature, the Grade I listed historic wall, would be highlighted, and buildings close to the wall would be removed to allow the wall to be identified. The plans aim to retain historic features and convert existing buildings.

For homeowners in Bury St Edmunds considering selling their properties or potential buyers interested in the area, this development raises important considerations. The concerns raised by local authorities and bodies regarding the impact on historic landmarks, access, and amenities could influence property values and the overall appeal of the neighbourhood. It is crucial for prospective buyers and sellers to stay informed about such developments and their potential effects on the local market.

If you want to make an informed decision, it’s vital to consider the local area, as well as what’s happening in the housing market. This is why Coakley & Theaker is your ideal choice when selling your home. We have a strong track record in selling local property, and we stay in touch with what is happening around us.

Contact Coakley & Theaker for all your Bury St Edmunds property market needs

At Coakley & Theaker, we aim to support the local community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today by calling us on 01284 769691.