Protest march organised to save Belle Vue

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

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Concerned residents will join a protest march next week against the possible demolition of Belle Vue House in Sudbury.

South Suffolk Labour Party chairman Luke Cresswell has organised the march to show the level of opposition to plans to allow a budget hotel chain to buy the building.

Councillors and members of the public are invited to meet at the house on Saturday, November 29, at 10am, when a short debate will take place before the march makes its way into town.

Mr Cresswell, from Cross Street, said he had organised the protest in a bid to safeguard the future of the building.

“It’s part of the town,” he said. “If we get rid of these buildings, we lose the character of the town. It’s about keeping what’s beautiful.”

Mr Cresswell said he would like to see the building used as a community centre, bringing various services together under one roof.

He also voiced his support for Sudbury resident Theo Bird, who has put forward a community purchase scheme that would establish a business hub.

Simon Barrett, chairman of the Sudbury Steering Group, which has been consulting with the public on the future of the site on behalf of the land owner, Babergh District Council, repeated his stance that he welcomed community interest, but said there needed to be a solid plan for the site.

“We are getting the discussion going but the problem is they are still not coming forward with realistic ideas,” he said. “If we can find an alternative, then that would be great.”

Mr Barrett said there was currently a good offer on the table – thought to from hotel chain Premier Inn – which he insisted would create 60 jobs.

“People can poo poo it, but that’s where we are at and that’s not to be sniffed at,” he said.