Work on a controversial new bus station in Sudbury could begin before Christmas if plans are successfully put forward and passed for the move to Girling Street.
The role of Sudbury Steering Group and plans for the bus station to be moved to the busy car park were again questioned last week as it was announced an application for the station to be moved could be put forward by Suffolk County Council by the end of the summer.
During a Sudbury Steering Group update at last Tuesday’s Sudbury Town Council meeting, Nigel Bennett was asked about the ongoing plans for Sudbury bus station to be moved to Girling Street car park, allowing the current station site in the Hamilton Road Quarter to be redeveloped.
Mr Bennett explained that the county council had commissioned a company to work up a design for the Girling Street station.
He added that this could then potentially be submitted to Babergh District Council by the end of the summer and decided by a planning committee by the end of October.
If this did take place building work could begin before Christmas.
Again Sudbury Steering Group, which chose the Girling Street station as its preferred option, came under criticism from some councillors at the meeting.
Nick Irwin asked why the county council was speaking to the Steering Group rather than the town council itself.
John Sayers, who sits on the steering group as a representative of Suffolk County Council, said he did not feel comfortable with the process and asked if there was another chance for residents to be consulted.
Fellow member Ellen Murphy said she found the Steering Group frustrating, saying that non-members had not been allowed to ask questions at a recent steering group meeting.
Mrs Murphy also questioned whether the approximately £100,000 of section 106 money from the Sainsbury’s development would be allowed to be used for the bus station to be moved.
Suffolk County Council confirmed this money was for the bus station project and not for a specific site.
There was also discussion over a covenant placed on the bus station area.
On the covenant a Babergh District Council spokesperson said: “Babergh is aware of all of the landowner issues in the Hamilton Road Quarter area.
“We have sought legal advice, and are in the process of collating relevant information, to ensure the correct course of action is taken by us.
“The council will be in discussion with all of the land owners as part of the ongoing work as we move towards regeneration of that area of Sudbury and the relocation of the bus station.”
After the meeting Mrs Murphy told the Free Press: “What most people want is a proper consultation. They feel they are being railroaded into something that they don’t really want.
“Most people are against moving it. It will create traffic problems with buses coming out.
“The view is that the council seems to be running roughshod over what people want.”
Mrs Murphy was also unhappy that no particular mention of the bus station was made on the town council agenda.
She felt members of the public would have attended the meeting had they known the station was to be discussed as part of the steering group update.
Mr Sayers also spoke after the meeting, telling the Free Press that he did not want to see backtracking on major projects but needed to make sure they were right for the town. Mr Sayers was particularly concerned about the loss of parking
Former Sudbury mayor Jack Owen also used the update as an opportunity to ask for another representative from the town council to be put on the steering group.
Councillors voted in agreement for this suggestion to be put forward to the steering group.
Currently the council is represented by Mr Bennett while town councillors Simon Barrett and David Holland represent Babergh District Council on the group and Mr Sayers represents the county council.