Bid to register Belle Vue Park in Sudbury as Asset of Community Value gains town council's support
A call to protect a treasured public green space in Sudbury from any future development has galvanised support.
Councillors voted in favour of registering Belle Vue Park as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) during Tuesday’s town council meeting.
Proposed by Labour councillor Daniel Williams and seconded by Liberal Democrat Oliver Forder, an ACV, if granted, would provide greater protection against plans to develop or sell the land.
Plans to build a hotel on the former swimming pool site in the park have prompted campaigners to voice concerns over the impact any development would have on the green space.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Simon Barrett expressed his scepticism about pursuing ACV status.
“I don’t think there’s ever been any indication that Belle Vue Park is under threat,” he said.
In response, Cllr Williams stated that should the site be put in jeopardy, the status would strengthen the town’s position in preventing any development.
“You don’t put an asset on a list because it’s under threat, you put an asset on a list because it benefits the social wellbeing of the community should they (Babergh District Council) ever decide to sell the long-term lease of the land,” he said.
Pledging his support to the application, Cllr Forder stated that the status would ensure the site had a greater chance of being preserved for public use.
“I think it will be a useful way of registering our park to make sure the park itself remains available to the community as a whole,” he said.
District and town councillor Jan Osborne highlighted that, while the status would provide greater protection over the green space, other parties would have an equal opportunity to bid for the land, should it ever be sold.
ACV status has already been granted to Belle Vue House following a successful application by Belle Vue Community Bid campaign group, which is keen to preserve the site.
More by this authorPriya Kingsley-Adam