Last November, you kindly published my letter regarding the encouraging news of the development of the Walnuttree site in Sudbury.
Following the campaigning of the Sudbury Society and other bodies, our local health trust had agreed to a scheme preserving the original Victorian core for conversion to housing and the retention of the outpatients department for civic use.
This would house, at ground level, a new and much-needed hall for the adjacent St Gregory’s Church and other local groups.
The first floor would house a home for the Ephemera group and all the local records at present dispersed around the town, for both safe retention and public access.
The original vagrants’ cells (which could now be lost) would be preserved, housing a small museum and display of the site. As an added bonus, St Gregory’s was prepared to offer up the site of its current nearby hall for the required social housing.
Finance was in place, ensuring there was no drain on the rates, and a trust was to be formed to manage the new facilities.
Now, apparently, there has been a change of heart. The duplicity and greed of our health trust is beyond comprehension.
Without any further consultation, we have now been informed that this original scheme, which had the full support of the trust’s architects, is financially unviable and, instead, permission will be sought to turn the outpatients into flats.
In its arrogance, the trust failed to inform any of the other interested parties and rests its case on a financial study none of us has had sight of.
Has our local health trust not gained enough out of Sudbury with the acquisition and massive development of People’s Park, let alone the disposal of the St Leonard’s site? Babergh planners have already given that trust carte blanch to destroy People’s Park and to realise huge profits from land grabbing.
Surely now is the time to finally stand up for our community and tell the trust to put the needs of our town before even further profiteering to the detriment of us all.
Councillors: please tell our health trust to go back to the drawing board and resubmit the original scheme which had the support and approbation of the town and all the bodies concerned.