Latest thinking on current local issues

Current applications – Walnuttree and St Leonards are still going through the planning process.

Bypass – some significant moves seem to be taking place towards a solution, involving links between the A120/A12/A134, which would avoid harm to the sensitive western edge of the town. These are still long term, if indeed they do take place, and meanwhile the Town’s need for immediate and medium term solutions is pressing.

Belle Vue – can the House be “saved” or is there an “economic” solution involving new buildings?
If the latter will it be an inclusive one which also replaces the current vehicle dominated wasteland with a good piece of urban design and forms a worthy gateway to the town centre? Again if new building is involved will it be of a high standard or as lacking in architectural quality as Borehamgate? See the Society’s published view on our website.

Bus Station – seven options are being considered, to be made public shortly. Bus travel is still regarded as a poor substitute for the car, unless you don’t have access to one, and critical to wider bus use and less car use are the provision of lots of convenient stops and probably more town-based routes linking car parks, station, new hospital and various residential developments( including Chilton Woods which is still to be added to the mix. Of course more accessible bus design will be needed.  You also have to pay to use a bus, unless you have a pass, whereas car parking is free. Is there an imaginative solution to this conundrum?

Hamilton Road redevelopment – seems as far off as ever. A decision on where to site the “bus station” could delay or revive it.

Traffic – Babergh’s 2011-2031 strategy sets out a hierarchy – pedestrians, cycles, public transport, goods vehicles, private cars. Is there anywhere in town where this is followed rather than the reverse?
To quote –“Often the “highways design” of spaces is separated out from the overall design development. This can lead to places where roads dominate and pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users are downgraded in terms of the environments they have to use”
A fair description of our town? And how do we change it?
“Shared space” is an attempt to rebalance things to everyone’s benefit but Highways seem reluctant to go down this route. It can work, perhaps counter intuitively. Go to YouTube and look up “Poynton Regenerated” for a fascinating video. You can then compare this shared space solution with what is planned for the Belle Vue intersection, to be revealed soon, and the junction between Great Eastern Road and Station Road.

A Town Plan – an idea which seems to be a long time coming into being but which would draw all these issues together, rather than their being a series of unrelated interventions, and would allow for future developments such as the Tax Office site and maybe the BT one. The Society has put together what it feels should be included, perhaps more wide ranging than Town Council and Babergh have in mind. Check out our website.