£170,000 to be spent on two projects

A car park and a play area in Sudbury will get major upgrades after £170,000 of improvements was approved by councillors on Thursday.

Resurfacing work to North Street car park, costing an estimated £120,000, and new play equipment at the play area near First Avenue, costing £50,000, was given the go-ahead by Babergh District Council’s strategy committee.

The car park construction will be carried out in three stages – the link between North Street and Gaol Lane, the lanes between parking spaces and finally the spaces themselves – between January and April, while the play park is expected to be finished by March.

Sudbury town and Babergh district councillor Nigel Bennett said: “I am delighted – last week we also finished the resurfacing of the tennis courts at Belle Vue House so Babergh is making a good level of investment in Sudbury.”

He explained the surface of the North Street car park had deteriorated over a number of years.

“It was brought before the committee last year and we said we didn’t know what the outcome of the talks between Sudbury and Hadleigh about management would be,” said Mr Bennett.

“It was brought back as the longer the work is not done, the more expensive it will be.”

Babergh District Council had tendered for the work last year, but a spokeswoman said this may need to be renegotiated.

She explained: “Maintenance costs had been increasing to a stage where site investigations have had to be undertaken.

“These revealed substantial degrading of the running surface, and also the sub-grade construction to a depth of 270mm in some areas.”

Mr Bennett said he was pleased the work had been scheduled for after businesses’ busy Christmas shopping period.

The decision to replace the play equipment near First Avenue, which was installed in 1975, was made after a report by Ryan Jones, the council’s corporate manager for asset management, stated that: “There are constant risks regarding the failure of equipment which could result in accidents to children.”

The new equipment will include an overhead runway, a multi-climber with tunnel slide, new swings, a maze, benches and seating.

“The current ones have been there a very long time, so it is about replacing and improving,” said Mr Bennett.

However, not everyone was pleased with the council’s decision.

Commenting on the Free Press’ Facebook page, Elaine Jones said: “£50,000 is a little excessive for a play area, regardless of how old the existing site is.”