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New look for town gateway

PUBLISHED: 04:00 27 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 March 2010

ONE of the most rundown gateways into a historic town is set for improvement after a company announced an ambitious plan to build dozens of new homes on a derelict brownfield site.

ONE of the most rundown gateways into a historic town is set for improvement after a company announced an ambitious plan to build dozens of new homes on a derelict brownfield site.

Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds could be transformed if the scheme – for 56 homes, serviced by a newly-built road – is granted planning permission by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Outline details of the project, masterminded by H and E Properties, have been lodged with the council.

Councillors are optimistic the redevelopment of brownfield land just off the busy road will improve the whole fabric of an area often described as Bury St Edmunds' forgotten corner.

Seen as one of the town's main gateways, Station Hill – which houses the railway station, a private gym, fast food takeaways and a nightclub – is the first glance many tourists get of the historic town famed for its Abbey ruins.

Council leader Ray Nowak, who has previously highlighted the area as a problem spot, said the development could work to change the first impression many people get when arriving in Bury St Edmunds.

"That part of town does need improvement and I think projects designed to enhance it have been on everybody's agenda for some time," he added.

"I have felt for a long while that people who come out of the railway station often think they have caught a train to the wrong place – they are told Bury is an attractive town, and they arrive to see Station Hill.

"Any enhancement to that area should be encouraged, although I haven't seen the proposals in detail yet."

Existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the new housing if planning permission is granted.

Mark Ereira-Guyer, who represents the ward on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: "Station Hill is an area of Bury which we want to enhance, and always have done.

"The whole area has already been vastly improved, with the refurbishment of several houses, and the plan to build on a brownfield site sounds like good news. I will look at it with interest."

H and E Properties was unavailable for comment.

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