An investment in the future economy and environment

22 Mar 2021

17-18 Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds

West Suffolk Council isn’t just investing in the future of Bury St Edmunds town centre, consideration of the environment is also key to its redevelopment of the former Post Office. 

It is now four years since the council, working with partners, led on shaping a masterplan – a vision for how growth could happen in Bury St Edmunds town centre. That masterplan saw two stages of public engagement which generated 8,000 public comments.

Many of those comments referred to widening Market Thoroughfare and making improvements to St Andrews Street South to better integrate the arc and the Cornhill and Buttermarket as one coherent town centre and better direct footfall between the two areas.

Barnes Construction is now carrying out work on behalf of the council. The Victorian front onto Cornhill is being kept, but the rest of the building, which was added on at a later date, has been demolished. Market Thoroughfare will be widened by more than 50 per cent, while two ground floor commercial units will be created with 12 flats above. Town centre living in its own right will contribute positively to the climate change agenda, enabling more people to live close and walk to those day to day services and facilities they need.

The whole development will be heated by an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) which uses outside air temperature to heat a refrigerant before compressing it into a liquid, creating heat which then heats radiators and hot water supply. It is the reversal of a process that works in the refrigerator people have at home.

Around 13kWp array of solar panels will also be installed on the roof, generating renewable electricity.

Together they will save approximately 374 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the course of 20 years. Each year it is expected that the Cornhill development will save 18.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to an alternatively heated but still efficient building. This saving is the equivalent of the annual emissions arising from the miles travelled by 6.6 family cars.*

On top of this, residents in the flats will also benefit from the council’s green energy procurement policy where all electrical energy will be supplied from a dedicated “green” energy supplier, Ecotricity.

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “Our major investment in this site is another one in and for the future of our town centres, and it delivers on improvements that will even better integrate the arc and the historic town centre. Despite the pandemic which has affected everyone’s way of life this past year, we have confidence in the future of the high street as a place people will continue to value whether to shop, to eat or drink, relax, socialise or enjoy other leisure and cultural events and activities including those we hold in The Apex, as part of our markets, and in the Abbey Gardens.

“Equally the environment is so important for us all, and future generations, which is why we are continually looking at what environmental actions we can take and influence within the work we do including on this exciting new development.”

For more on the Cornhill project visit

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