News

COPY OF LATEST SFP ARTICLE – NOVEMBER 2020

Here is a copy of this month’s Sudbury Society column in the local press. It refers to public consultation on plans for Market Hill which consist of an online survey due by mid December which we encourage you to view and express your views. Our Planning Sub-committee led by Sam Thornton will also be canvassing members so as to present a Sudbury Society view. You can contact them on planning@sudburysociety.org.uk

Calling all Sudburians!

Although we are still unable to host our face to face monthly meetings in this ‘new normal’, the society’s planning sub committee are busy at the present time dealing with some important issues which will impact on the town as a whole.

We are very keen to gather the views and ideas of as many local people as we can, whether members or not, on these issues – and we need your input.

MARKET HILL PROPOSALS

It is clear that views on these proposals are very varied and the sub committee are charged with establishing the views of a cross section of our members, to establish a formal position for the Society. However as the proposals will affect the heart of our town for the next 20 years and beyond, we encourage ANYONE who cares for Sudbury to look at the proposals and pass your comments on to the powers that be.

There are many things to think about and here are some questions to prompt a debate:

Do you consider the proposals will enhance the Centre of our town, or do you think that they will impact the viability of the shops surrounding the Market Hill?

Will the planting of trees obstruct the views of St Peters and the stunning range of buildings around the Market Hill?

Will the proposals slow the passage of vehicles through the town centre?

Do you think there are sufficient uses for the large open space to remain vibrant on non-Market days?

What would you like the heart of Sudbury to look and feel like? If you have children or grandchildren, ask them too! They have as much, if not more, of a stake in this as anyone.

Please participate by checking out current proposals and sharing your views – details are at:

https://midsuffolk.gov.uk/business/economic-development/sudbury-vision

PLANNING APPLICATION – LLOYDS BANK GARDEN

An application has been submitted for the development of 8 terraced houses on the garden fronting Hamilton Road which lies to the rear of the Grade 2* listed building fronting Market Hill.

The sub committee are currently considering a response but this cannot be taken in isolation and has to be influenced by the eventual proposals for the Hamilton Road area in general. There has been mention of a cinema, retail mixed with residential flats above, moving the proposed new hotel site from Bellevue Park to the Hamilton Road area (since talks with Premier Inn collapsed as a result of lockdown) but no detailed proposals have yet emerged.

The Hamilton Road site is owned by Babergh District Council who are the decision maker on the current Lloyds Bank garden application. Please look at the application on the Babergh planning website: DC/20/03584

With the recent excellent news that St Peters have been awarded the Heritage Lottery grant for repairs and redevelopment, there are reasons for cheer amidst grim economic forecasts due to covid and (possibly) a no deal brexit. It’s vital that we try to be as strong and united as a local community as we can as we move forward, supporting our local shops and businesses, looking out for neighbours, letting older and younger members of the community lead as full lives as possible.

The nature of our shared public spaces at the centre of town do shape how we behave towards each other and our sense of community. We urge you all to take an interest in current and future planning proposals for Market Hill, Hamilton Road and Bellevue Park and to share your ideas so the next generation inherit a Sudbury they can be proud to call home.

SAM THORNTON

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PLANS FOR MARKET HILL

Many of you may have seen our Chairman’s most recent opinion piece in the local press….here is a copy for those who may not have seen it.

The local authority plans for Market Hill are transformational and it is vital we canvass Society members as well as the community on their views. Our intention is to contact all members in the next month so do keep checking your mailboxes (virtual and physical) for our survey.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL

The latest Sudbury Vision Masterplan drawings have been splashed in the press over the past few days and overall, it is encouraging that detailed work is taking place with plans taking shape. The present arrangement with planters separating the market area from King Street which has met with much criticism and which we were led to believe was temporary, seems to be more or less permanent.

The onset of Covid-19 has brought about significant change since the public exhibition of initial plans in January 2020, so there have been some obvious shifts in the current proposals. The appetite for cycling and walking increased during lockdown, so there is more of a focus on pedestrianisation and cycle routes, a policy also encouraged nationally. How convenient the cyclists and E-scooters will find the routes has yet to be discovered.

Likewise, the hospitality and hotel sectors have been hit hard by the pandemic and ensuing public health measures. This is reflected in the proposed hotel, originally destined for Belle Vue Park, now being proposed as part of the Hamilton Place redevelopment, which many considered to be a better location for it.

Another big issue is the heavy traffic along the A131 now channelled into a corridor where speeds will increase as they have done all the way down to Ballingdon Bridge. There are sure to be other problems and changes but the pedestrianised area is a fantastic opportunity to create an enjoyable space for the heart of Sudbury. Balancing the competing uses will be a challenge

The Masterplan includes bus stops along the roads which presumably means the council still plans to remove the present bus station, a move disliked by the public at the time of the exhibition.

But as always, the devil will be in the detail.

Explaining and sharing openly the finer points of this new Masterplan is now the key to how well the community gets behind the Vision. It is vital that all local authorities involved move swiftly to give us more specifics – their thinking on new details and what the next steps are.

Yes, with Covid-19 still impacting gatherings, another public exhibition is unlikely to be possible, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a way to make as many people as possible aware of the Vision, and the nitty-gritty details. This is how folk can ask questions, share their concerns, feel that they have been listened to and can contribute to the future of their town.

I would love to hear from local people, Society members or not, their reactions to the proposals, so we can incorporate your views in our response. Please do write to us – info@sudburysociety.org.uk

I have to say we have been perplexed by how the temporary parking restrictions on Market Hill have been implemented, as the stated aim of improving social distancing works excessively on the ‘Boots’ side but not at all on the ‘Banks’ side. In our view, removing parking in this way has a negative impact on trade generally and frankly, as an example of how the market place can be changed into a jolly, open air public square, it hasn’t worked.

I am sure that positive impacts can come from improving Market Hill for pedestrians in the short term, but the point is that it needs more imaginative thinking, as there has been no detailed timescale laid out for the Vision as far as I know. We deserve to know how existing businesses will be supported in the short term, what will happen with parking etc before any vision actually happens. I’m afraid we have been down this route before where there is a lot of talk and precious little action.

There has not been much communication that I have been aware of about the current parking restrictions, how they relate to the overall Vision and what we can expect and when.

In its absence, various interpretations and resentments emerge, some based on lack of information and fear of change. This can only be addressed by openness and sharing of the Vision and I urge Sudbury Town Council, Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council to do more to tell affected townsfolk the detail in the proposals.

IAN LIDDELL, CHAIRMAN

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Part-time Administrator Vacancy

The Sudbury Society is seeking an administrator to support its work as advocate to conserve our town’s heritage and take forward new initiatives and campaigns. Do you have some spare time and an interest in Sudbury?
We estimate 6 hours/week on average with an hourly rate of £8.21 + agreed expenses to be paid. Work will include preparing committee meeting papers, filtering planning applications for review, assisting with newsjournal editing, keeping the website/social media updated and implementing local campaigns.
For an information pack, please contact press@sudburysociety.org.uk
Closing date for applications: Friday 14th August 2020

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WINNERS OF ALAN PHILLIPS ARCHITECTURAL AWARDS ANNOUNCED!

The Sudbury Society is delighted to announce the results of its revived Alan Phillips Architectural Awards for outstanding contributions to the built environment in Sudbury.

The joint winners are Goldsmiths Mansion on the junction of Market Hill and Friars Street, and the re-development of St Leonard’s Hospital off the Newton Road.

St Leonards

 

Goldsmiths Mansion

The Grade II listed Goldsmiths Mansion, also known as Mattingly’s, was rebuilt after being devastated by fire in September 2015.

St Leonard’s was closed as a hospital by the NHS in the same year with the original Victorian building and surrounding site refurbished for new sympathetic housing.

Chairman of the Sudbury Society, Ian Liddell said: “We are very fortunate to have had two such outstanding submissions for the Alan Phillips Architectural Awards this year.

“The judging panel agreed that both projects demonstrated the highest standards of restoration and conservation, deploying traditional skills whilst creating a new modern life for these buildings.”

Goldsmiths Mansion

It was almost five years ago that Sudbury was brought to a standstill after flames devoured the landmark building housing Oxfam and upstairs residential flats as well as scorching adjacent properties.

  

Building owners Roger Mattingley and Christina Manning were determined that the re-build be in keeping with its setting and retain original characteristics whilst not being an exact replica. The result achieved by architects Wincer Kievenaar and builder/contractor Rose Builders “is more than we could have hoped for”.

Philip Branton, Director of Wincer Kievenaar said:

“Goldsmiths Mansion has been a fantastically rewarding project to work on, the attention to detail and careful choice of traditional materials has resulted in a building the whole team can be proud of.”

Steven Rose, Managing Director of Rose Builders said:

“We are delighted that Goldsmiths Mansion has been recognised with this award. The project delivery involved total teamwork from Architect to Builder, Tradesman to Supplier and we are very proud that the building will endure as a significant landmark within the Sudbury Town Centre street scene.”

The Award judges agreed that the finished result of the building’s frontage is stunning and commended the attention to detail throughout the project, including the decorative brickwork moulded from original bricks by the Bulmer Brick Company. They also noted the original date roundel was salvaged and restored and clearance work also revealed a 17th century wall painting of a mounted horseman in one of the upstairs apartments.

Some of the judges were disappointed that the internal structure was not replaced in oak timber framing with timber flooring, better from a low carbon view, but it was accepted that a reinforced concrete frame and floor structure was the technically correct solution for a multifunctional commercial building requiring sound isolation and 2 hour fire separation.

St Leonard’s

The redevelopment of St Leonard’s by Hartog Hutton offered another example of a high quality refurbishment, this time of a site which contained a jumble of modern buildings centred around a Victorian Hospital.

Many locals will remember attending St Leonard’s for blood tests, midwifery appointments and the like over the years, yet it is hard to recollect the maze of nondescript outbuildings now when viewing the spacious and elegant modern houses surrounded by trees and greenery.

Most striking is the careful refurbishing of the main hospital building at the development’s heart – all the original features and main window openings have been retained, and meticulous care has been taken to steam clean original brickwork and repoint with a high degree of craftsmanship rarely found in modern developments.

Malcolm Payne, Director at Hartog Hutton explained:

“We were keen as a company from the outset to keep and restore as much of the old Victorian

building as possible, and fortunate we had a solid canvas to work on.” Malcolm added “we put in a lot of work with our design team and it’s an honour to share the award with Goldsmiths Mansion which I think is really outstanding and deserving of recognition.”

 

Ian Liddell said he was delighted to congratulate both worthy winners of the Awards.

He added: “The Sudbury Society was formed over 40 years ago, inspired by the saving of the Corn Exchange building, now the town’s much admired Library on Market Hill. And we’re still working today to highlight and commend new buildings that add so much to our wonderful townscape.”

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NEW E-NEWSLETTER FOR MEMBERS

In an effort to stay in touch with all our members, the Society trialled a new electronic newsletter with write ups of talks that took place in February and March before lockdown, and any recent news items. It was sent out to all members who have provided email addresses and posted to those who haven’t yet or don’t have access to one.

A link to it is attached here –  July e-newsletter – or here is another link to read it online.

Please let us know what you think, we welcome all feedback and also, if you do have an email address or a family member/friend who can help you access one, let us know.

Many thanks and happy reading!

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COPY OF MOST RECENT COLUMN IN SUFFOLK FREE PRESS, 2nd July 2020

The Future of Town Centres? By Angie Bentley

As I made my way across Market Hill this week, I wondered how this public space at Sudbury’s heart might be transformed over the coming months and years.

At the moment, it stands largely empty due to the 3-month road closure/parking suspensions to maintain sufficient space for shop queues and social distancing.

Who knows what the future holds but many town centres across the UK, including Sudbury, are taking the opportunity to re-think their town centre plans in light of this ongoing  pandemic.

The enforced lockdown has given people a chance to think about their priorities and we have heard many people voicing their appreciation for exercising for health, communities pitching in to support each other, cleaner air, nature, home-working and more family time.

It feels like there has been a seismic shock to our modern way of life, and that the ‘new normal’ will look and feel different and not be a case of just ‘business as usual’. Change is very difficult though, and there will be those who want things to go back to how they were.

I believe that it is worth trying to imagine how we can do things better, and this has to begin at home and in our own local environment.

Looking at what we might see on Market Hill this summer, apparently some of the cafes, restaurants and food outlets will be encouraged to place tables and chairs for summer outdoor dining. Plus the monthly farmers’ market returned last Friday with more outdoor stalls and there is now an extra Friday market day so all weekly traders can spread out more. Although the annual Taste of Sudbury Festival in June sadly had to be cancelled, I can imagine there may be scope to introduce some small-scale summer events on Market Hill and for it to be used as a safe outdoor meeting area for locals.

The Vision for Sudbury Steering Group will also be considering possible longer term plans beyond September and my personal view is that the centre of a town should prioritise people and not cars; that there needs to be a balance between supporting traditional retail and creating a unique sense of place with events and activities that all people want to share and experience.

If town centres are made attractive, easily accessible places where people want to meet up  – the knock-on effect will  benefit existing retail outlets and provide incentives for new entrepreneurs to occupy the growing number of empty premises we are seeing.

To achieve this, we need to have the local leadership and vision to create an atmosphere and unique sense of place that attracts people of itself and breathes life into the centre.

Sudbury has multiple claims to fame that could act as draws for visitors and which locals are already proud of – the silk mills, art of Thomas Gainsborough, literary links to Dickens, three medieval churches, beautiful architecture and stunning water meadows. Surely, there is a away to make more of these assets to boost tourism and visitor numbers?

I was impressed by the recently published Bill Grimsey review: ‘Build Back Better – a Covid19 supplement’1 (June 2020) that considers in depth how British town centres can come back from Covid-19.

What struck me forcefully was its reference to existing town centres effectively designing out the next generation – that sad refrain of there being ‘nothing for young people to do’ – and also those older or less mobile members of society through lack of seating, toilets, poor lighting, narrow pavements and poor access.

I know this accusation has been levelled at Sudbury over the years and I would love to see the Vision for Sudbury Steering Group addressing these points in their future plans, so that all generations can be made to feel welcome in Sudbury and be excited by its future.

Angie Bentley

 

1 http://www.vanishinghighstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Grimsey-Covid-19-Supplement-June-2020.pdf

 

 

 

COPY OF MOST RECENT COLUMN IN SUFFOLK FREE PRESS, 5th June 2020

Lessons from Lockdown – from our incoming Chairman

As we start to emerge from 10 weeks of unprecedented lockdown, it is clear that the enormous impact of coronavirus will be felt for years to come, not only by grieving families, struggling businesses and ‘the economy’ but on social behaviours and how we interact, work and live together.

In urban areas our normal way of life has been transformed by the pandemic yet despite the upheaval, there have been some positives: the reduction in traffic through Sudbury and more people walking or using their bikes has offered a glimpse of what Sudbury could look like. There’s an opportunity to learn some lessons from the past two months so cyclists are prioritised; air quality is improved and people can slow down and enjoy the town and its environs.

Although I am now fully retired from engineering projects and do minimal teaching, I still follow developments in technology especially in low carbon energy and transportation that were changing even without the added impetus from Covid19.

As a hybrid/electric vehicle user, I can say they are great to drive and encourage polite behaviour from drivers. Government commitments to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by 2050 through such measures as replacing diesel/petrol with electrically powered cars may even be accelerated as a result of Covid-19 as many countries have seen skies clear of smog for the first time in years.

The absence of traffic in Sudbury during lockdown has made cycling round the town more pleasant and made a huge reduction in noise and air pollution, especially from diesel engines.  Living between Cross St and Church St, it was really noticeable and most welcome. As traffic returns, the clean air effect reduces but as working from home becomes the ‘new normal’ for a significant number of people (including in my immediate family), there should be fewer journeys.

Until a vaccine giving long term protection against Covid-19 is found, some will have to continue shielding themselves or vulnerable family members by working/staying at home and for others, the enforced lockdown has meant a re-think: the pleasures of not commuting to London will be remembered and I can’t see people rushing to return.

The limiting of outdoor exercise to walking/running and cycling during lockdown has also led to a visible boom in cycling and it has been a joy to see so many people on bikes. This is already leading to cities like Bristol and London bringing forward cycle-friendly schemes to encourage their continued use. Electric bikes are improving all the time and sales have taken off during lockdown – existing models have a range of 50 miles with a regulated top speed of 15.5 mph. I have seen a Waitrose shopper using an electric bike to whizz up Ballingdon Hill on the way home!

The challenge for Sudbury is that since 1950 we have moved steadily to being a car accessed town with plentiful and free car parking.  Whether this has saved our shops is questionable but it has ensured a lot of traffic at peak times.  The population continues to grow and judging by the number of cars parking on double yellows and quiet residential roads near the centre, parking is nearing its capacity. Our narrow streets and pavements, coupled with the funnelling of 3 major roads carrying heavy goods vehicles and other traffic into Market Hill, make it dangerous for cyclists (and pedestrians) when they have to compete for space.

The lockdown conditions have shown that cycling would be ideal for a town of our size and the appetite clearly exists when riders feel safe. As streets cannot be widened to create more space, it’s time to revisit ideas to divert lorries away from Market Hill, to speed up support for electrically powered vehicles in terms of design/infrastructure/pricing and slow down traffic speeds via a 20 mph town centre speed limit to improve safety and amenity for all.

Given the unique lockdown experiment that we’ve had to find a way through together, it would be great to see the Councils incorporating lessons learnt in their ‘Vision for Sudbury’ plans for our town’s future.

 

Ian Liddell

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LIFE MEMBERSHIP RETURNS

We have re-instated the Life Membership option to anyone looking to join the Society for the first time, or for any existing members wanting to re-join, remove the need for any further admin and show their lifelong support for Sudbury and our Society.

At £150, it represents great value so do have a look at this option when it’s next time to pay your annual membership fee.

Thank you

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VIRTUAL VE DAY CELEBRATIONS ON FRIDAY 8th MAY –

SUDBURY TOWN COUNCIL

We have received a message from the Town Council encouraging everyone to do as much as we can virtually to celebrate VE Day on Friday 8th May. They have put together a virtual programme which will be going live on the day and the poster gives details of the day’s events . You can also watch the celebrations via their special website page  –  www.sudburytowncouncil.co.uk/veday75

 

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CORONAVIRUS MESSAGE TO SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP:

Please note that due to the unprecedented lockdown and social distancing measures imposed by the government in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, members meetings are suspended until further notice and the AGM has been postponed. We will let everyone know once meetings can resume however you should assume April/May/June meetings will not be taking place.

We will seek to update this website with any important Society news and will also post onto the Society’s Facebook page – @sudburysociety – and continue our regular column in the Suffolk Free Press.

Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times and our prime concern is that members stay safe and well until the lockdown is over. Take care of yourselves and each other until we meet again!

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IN MEMORIAM: STEPHEN THORPE

It is with great sadness that we note the death last month of Stephen Thorpe, stalwart of the Society for many years with special interest in planning issues and an active campaigner for our town. We offer the sincerest condolences to his family, Pat and Rebecca, on their huge loss.
Here are some reflections on Stephen from fellow Society member, Robin Drury:

“I had known and worked with Stephen for many years. He helped me to re-invent The Granary, in Walnuttree Lane and the resulting professional friendship brought us together in a shared passion for the town we lived in.

Stephen was so enthusiastic for the built environment of Sudbury. He saw the Market Hill in particular as such a wonderful urban space that with a few planning development tweaks could be made so much better.

I remember the two of us, one morning, tramping around the town centre and having the discussion about how unco-ordinated our local authorities were in making planning decisions that joined up all the essential assets that made up the core of the town –
The Market Hill, North Street, the Bus Station, The Water Meadows and Belle Vue Park and roundabout. How, perhaps with an over arching plan, Sudbury’s ambience could be so much better.
That morning walk resulted in us collaborating to produce our own plans, with Stephen resolutely sinking a great deal of his professional time into plotting and drawing up concepts for the whole of the town centre. An enormous undertaking that would normally take local authority departments and consultants years to achieve, and who knows at what cost to the tax payer!
On the strength of Stephen’s concepts and a little financial help from the Sudbury Society we produced a document ’Sudbury in 21C’ – a synopsis of our joint ideas. The two of us did a presentation to the town council and then did the same at a public meeting of 100+ in the Granary, Quay Lane. We took our audience by storm! The document was seen as a blueprint for what people really wanted for their town.
That was back in 1998. Since then Stephen and I have struggled to keep the planners on track. Much of what we conceived has now been written into Sudbury Town Council’s official document on how it see’s the future of the town centre. Babergh have also embraced much of it into ’Sudbury’s Vision for Prosperity’ project, which is fast evolving.
Unfortunately Stephen would never see any of this come to fruition but maybe, just maybe, his passion and vision will eventually bring about the changes for good in Sudbury that he always dreamed of. “
           RIP Stephen Thorpe

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** NB: POSTPONED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS **

SOCIETY AGM PLUS CHEESE & WINE EVENING – 26TH MARCH

There’s never been a better time to join the Sudbury Society and get fully involved in the debate about our town’s future and how we can both protect our built and natural heritage into the future.

We encourage ANYONE with an interest in our town to come along to our AGM at the Town Hall’s Assembly Rooms at the end of this month, listen to and share ideas and enjoy some Suffolk cheeses and wines at the same time!

The life and wellbeing of Sudbury as we move into the next era influenced by climate change, new technology and post Brexit needs to be properly debated by all with a stake in its future, so we particularly welcome younger people with the ideas and energy to drive our campaigns forward.

We look forward to seeing you on 26th March from 7pm!

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SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE ‘VISION for SUDBURY’ PUBLIC EXHIBITION

This is the text of a column printed in the Suffolk Free Press shortly after the Public Exhibition of Babergh District Council’s ‘Vision for Sudbury’ proposals were displayed in St Peters on 29th/30th January 2020.

“We welcome this joint initiative by the District and County Council to engage with the people of Sudbury on the future of our town and trust that it will be just the beginning of the consultative process.

HOTEL: The proposed four-storey hotel would sit on a raised site at a major entrance to the town overlooking the town Conservation Area. We would welcome the provision of extra hotel space in Sudbury but have serious concerns about the sheer bulk of the building and its impact in such a prominent location. We also have concerns about the impact that the building and its access road/parking provision would have on public access to Belle Vue Park and the congestion it would cause at the entrance onto Newton Road. If the building has to be on this site we suggest that the floor plate could be extended to reduce the height by one storey or perhaps the ground level be reduced prior to construction. Really, the design for a building on such a prominent town centre gateway site should be the subject of an open design competition as was adopted for Ballingdon Bridge.

BELLE VUE HOUSE: We will make a brief response to the three proposals but all need further development to merit serious consideration.

1:Mcabe & Abel : This involves conversion to two large and hence expensive units. We have serious doubts about their saleability when their access is past the hotel car park access and the delivery route for services to the hotel. We assume they would require south facing gardens overlooking the Park and the owners of the houses will require privacy so there will need to be fences or walls. This would remove public access to part of the present landscaped garden.

2: Bream Real Estate: This scheme would provide a number of one and two bed apartments plus six further apartments in the grounds. We already have a large number of apartments recently created in the town eg in Sulby House and the former Great Eastern, and question whether this extra provision will be sustainable. However, we prefer it to Option One.

3: Belle Vue Community group. This proposal would keep the building in public use and would be more compatible with Belle Vue park. However, it has to be financially viable and this was very difficult to judge from what we were given at the exhibition. We already have a fair degree of community provision at the Christopher Centre and in current proposals for St Peters and similar ideas have come forward for the United Reformed Church. However, of the options given this was our preference, subject to viability.

MARKET HILL/TRAFFIC/BUS/JUNCTION PROPOSALS

These are complicated issues but we will comment on the main proposals.

We strongly welcome the intention to create a more attractive and people friendly space on Market Hill. However, we cannot support the total loss of the current parking provision – some 60 spaces – and the impact on the viability of local shops and businesses. Some short term parking provision must be retained, along with provision for deliveries to those units which do not have rear access. (The same applies in North Street where again the plan is to eliminate on-street parking.) We also feel that alternative parking provision must be part of the ‘Vision’ and every encouragement should give to the use of the bicycle. We would also like to see inclusion of Suffolk County Council’s broad plans for reducing the flow of heavy through traffic in Sudbury.

The proposal to reverse the flow of traffic in North Street with entry restricted to buses coming in from King Street must also be given a rethink. This relatively narrow street was redesigned a few years back with block paving, speed humps and parking laybys on the east side, all making it unsuitable for large double deckers. At present pedestrians, slow moving through traffic, parked cars and delivery vehicles all coexist reasonably well. We suggest it should be left well alone!

A few closing comments.

The first section of East Street is often used for deliveries to the Weavers Tap and the Nightclub which would completely block the proposed single carriageway leading to the traffic lights.

We note that the proposals do not seem to make any allowance for Taxis which often stretch from the rank right down King Street.

It is a pity that the Hamilton Road Quarter was almost totally ignored in this Exhibition on the future viability of Sudbury. The future of Borehamgate precinct also needs to be addressed to ensure it has a viable future. Virtually all this area has been acquired by Babergh District Council to facilitate a viable future for the town. We should not allow it to be ignored.

John French

Chairman

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BECKY PLANT IS OUR NEW PART TIME ADMINISTRATOR & DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
We are pleased to announce that after interviews in December, the Sudbury Society has, for the first time, appointed  a part-time administrator to support its advocacy work and take forward new initiatives and campaigns.
Becky Plant is now in place, has attended her first Executive Committee meeting and is quickly getting up to speed with priorities for filtering planning applications, supporting events and communications.
Welcome aboard Becky!

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Sudbury Society Architectural Competition

The Sudbury Society re-introduced the Alan Phillips award for outstanding contributions to the built environment in Sudbury and its surrounding area, inviting applications by the end of 2019. We have received a number of high quality submissions, including the former St Leonard’s Hospital site and Mattingly’s building in Friars St, and a panel will be reviewing them to decide a winner in time for the AGM in March.

Factors being considered include:

  • Buildings that have been conserved, restored or re-instated to a high standard
  • Examples of innovation and creativity in addressing the conservation of older buildings
  • Examples of the use of traditional skills in building craft and heritage
  • New buildings that sit easily within the context of Sudbury’s heritage
  • Examples of building that have addressed the challenge of ‘older buildings and climate change’

Good luck and thank you to all who took the time to enter!

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Future of Belle Vue House
Further to a piece in the Suffolk Free Press on 8th September, here is the full text of the letter to the editor:
“We write jointly as President and Chairman respectively of The SUDBURY SOCIETY to object to the fundamental principle that Belle View House can be considered for demolition. This is not in the spirit of retaining our heritage assets to support the future prosperity of our town. It is both short term and will deny future generations an important legacy.
We fully share the considerable, and growing, misgivings of an increasing proportion of Sudburians and others who use, or simply enjoy, the Town and its facilities regarding the real prospect of the demolition of Belle Vue House (‘BVH’). On any reckoning it is  one of our key Victorian buildings, erected in 1871 by Edmund Stedman, later purchased by another well known Sudbury solicitor, Henry Crabb Canham. Crucially, it was given to the Town before the war, and thereafter used for a variety of public purposes – as a military hospital, Council offices, Magistrates
Court, and for a variety of other uses such as for meetings and exhibitions.
The first signatory of this letter experienced all the uses and can vouch for the superb facility BVH was, and still could be. The decision made by the Council last week, in  a closed meeting, to favour demolition of BVH (the way Councillors voted is being kept confidential) strikes us as perverse, given the multiplicity of uses to which it could very usefully be put,  and as morally questionable given the fact that it was gifted to us. Thank goodness therefore that Babergh District Council (BDC), as voiced by one of their leaders, John Ward, who attended the last public meeting at the Town Hall to enable locals to confront Councillors and ask questions, made clear that BDC is for
keeping BVH.
There is much talk of a hotel centred around BVH, but oppositionists assert that that would damage our invaluable park. However, that need not occur. and  BVH would be stylish and could accomodate the Hotel Reception, restaurants, Bars and meeting rooms. With bedrooms built in the extensive,adjacent woods to the east, that would surely be the best of all worlds and add to the Park.
This letter is inevitably severely constricted, but we do urge anyone who shares most of our views to get in touch with your BDC Councillor and/or Sudbury Council and/or BDC direct via John Ward. Time is short so please press on. We also now expect the BDC to provide public access  in the near future so that anyone interested can see the inside for themselves, and so realise that the appallingly run-down exterior conceals potentially great space, to whatever use BVH is put. There are many more points we could make if space was limitless, but we should end by making clear that we appreciate how difficult being a Councillor or Official is in today’s world. That said, please save and imaginatively use BVH.
Yours sincerely,
Andrew (Lord) Phillips OBE & Professor John French (President & Chair of The SUDBURY SOCIETY) “
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Part-time Administrator Vacancy…get in touch!

The Sudbury Society is seeking an administrator to support its work as advocate to conserve our town’s heritage and take forward new initiatives and campaigns. Do you have some spare time and an interest in Sudbury?
We estimate 6 hours/week on average with an hourly rate of £8.21 + agreed expenses to be paid. Work will include preparing committee meeting papers, filtering planning applications for review, assisting with newsjournal editing and local campaigns.
For an information pack, please contact chair@sudburysociety.org.uk
Closing date for applications: Friday 25th October

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 Sudbury Society Architectural Competition 2019/2020

The Sudbury Society is re-introducing the Alan Phillips award for outstanding contributions to the built environment in Sudbury and its surrounding area.

Applications can be made from Architects, Building Designers, Contractors and Builders, Home Owners or those involved in the heritage and conservation of Sudbury buildings and the Sudbury environment.

The judges will be looking for outstanding contributions to the built environment and these may include and cover any of the following areas:

  • Buildings that have been conserved, restored or re-instated to a high standard
  • Examples of innovation and creativity in addressing the conservation of older buildings
  • Examples of the use of traditional skills in building craft and heritage
  • New buildings that sit easily within the context of Sudbury’s heritage
  • Examples of building that have addressed the challenge of ‘older buildings and climate change’

We are inviting proposals in the form of a written submission of no more than 2000 words and five photographs plus a plan submitted as a single PDF file to The Sudbury Society. All entries to be sent to press@sudburysociety.org.uk on or before 1 December 2019.

The judges’ decision will be final and we expect to announce the outcome of the competition at the Society’s next AGM in March 2020.

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Further to a piece in the Suffolk Free Press on 8th September, here is the full text of the letter to the editor on the
Future of Belle Vue House
“We write jointly as President and Chairman respectively of The SUDBURY SOCIETY to object to the fundamental principle that Belle View House can be considered for demolition. This is not in the spirit of retaining our heritage assets to support the future prosperity of our town. It is both short term and will deny future generations an important legacy.
We fully share the considerable, and growing, misgivings of an increasing proportion of Sudburians and others who use, or simply enjoy, the Town and its facilities regarding the real prospect of the demolition of Belle Vue House (‘BVH’). On any reckoning it is  one of our key Victorian buildings, erected in 1871 by Edmund Stedman, later purchased by another well known Sudbury solicitor, Henry Crabb Canham. Crucially, it was given to the Town before the war, and thereafter used for a variety of public purposes – as a military hospital, Council offices, Magistrates
Court, and for a variety of other uses such as for meetings and exhibitions.
The first signatory of this letter experienced all the uses and can vouch for the superb facility BVH was, and still could be. The decision made by the Council last week, in  a closed meeting, to favour demolition of BVH (the way Councillors voted is being kept confidential) strikes us as perverse, given the multiplicity of uses to which it could very usefully be put,  and as morally questionable given the fact that it was gifted to us. Thank goodness therefore that Babergh District Council (BDC), as voiced by one of their leaders, John Ward, who attended the last public meeting at the Town Hall to enable locals to confront Councillors and ask questions, made clear that BDC is for
keeping BVH.
There is much talk of a hotel centred around BVH, but oppositionists assert that that would damage our invaluable park. However, that need not occur. and  BVH would be stylish and could accomodate the Hotel Reception, restaurants, Bars and meeting rooms. With bedrooms built in the extensive,adjacent woods to the east, that would surely be the best of all worlds and add to the Park.
This letter is inevitably severely constricted, but we do urge anyone who shares most of our views to get in touch with your BDC Councillor and/or Sudbury Council and/or BDC direct via John Ward. Time is short so please press on. We also now expect the BDC to provide public access  in the near future so that anyone interested can see the inside for themselves, and so realise that the appallingly run-down exterior conceals potentially great space, to whatever use BVH is put. There are many more points we could make if space was limitless, but we should end by making clear that we appreciate how difficult being a Councillor or Official is in today’s world. That said, please save and imaginatively use BVH.
Yours sincerely,
Andrew (Lord) Phillips OBE & Professor John French (President & Chair of The SUDBURY SOCIETY) “

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Have you seen him?
This was the title of the article about Charles Debenham in the latest Society News Journal. He is a well known local artist with a unique point of view, focussing on the everyday elements in the local townscape. His latest work around Colchester and Sudbury can be seen at the Chappel Galleries (next to the viaduct in Chappel) until June 2nd. For opening times see www.chappelgalleries.co.uk
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Local List Publicity

We have recently succeeded in convincing Babergh District Council to accept an update to the Sudbury Local List – a description of architecturally and/or historically significant properties and places in Our Town – originally prepared by the Society in 2014. We are very proud of our Local List and urge everyone to take a look… a  press release was circulated at the end of March and appeared in local press including the Sudbury & Long Melford Community News. (Check out page 3 of the May 2019 edition by clicking on the link!)

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AGM

The Society’s 2019 AGM took place on Thursday 21st March at All Saints Church Hall at 7pm. Following activity reports by the current Executive Committee and election of new officers, a fascinating and informative talk was given by Professor Pamela Cox, Dept of Sociology, University of Essex as seen on the BBC TV series ‘Servants, Shopgirls and Sex Work : Hidden Histories’. See our next News Journal for more!