Delivering the Bury St Edmunds MAP
The draft Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan (MAP) alone cannot deliver the vision in the local plan. A delivery strategy has been produced and sets out project leads, timescales, known issues, potential areas of funding and investment, related projects and areas of further work. It will test as far as possible whether the proposed aspirations are possible, viable and deliverable.
Project leads and partners - the ‘who’
Although the MAP will form part of the council’s official planning guidance, the delivery of the priorities and aspirations within it will be led by a range of partners. These will include Suffolk County Council, developers and other organisations with a stake in the town centre, alongside the West Suffolk Council and landowners.
The roles of these organisations will be to assess each aspiration to ensure it can be delivered and work together to progress individual projects.
Funding and investment – the ‘what’
Each aspiration has to be fully assessed and costed to ensure it can be delivered before being taken forward. This will include looking at timing, effects on related pieces of work and areas and how each project will be financed. Potential sources of finance and investment include:
- private investment in new sites and redevelopments
- Section 106 contributions (the funding provided by developers for infrastructure and community facilities)
- West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council investment
- external funding (for example secured from central Government)
- other funding sources including the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Influencing and doing – the ‘how’
West Suffolk Council will undertake some projects themselves, where land is owned by a public body, funding is available and the legal powers of the council allow this. The majority of projects will however be done in partnership with other organisations.
The borough council will use its influence and powers to ensure aspirations are taken forward in a timely manner. This will include working with landowners and other partners to identify and bring forward new sites and opportunities for redevelopment.
Going forward the MAP will inform and be supported by additional studies that will be prepared in parallel. The studies will look at a range of issues including economic growth, housing density, as well as transport and movement in the town centre.
The MAP in context – the ‘where’
The MAP isn’t a stand-alone document, rather it is set within and is informed by a range of studies, policies and work taking place and due to take place, in the town centre. These include but not restricted to:
- the delivery strategy
- the local plan
- St Edmundsbury Retail and Leisure study
- car park studies
- streetscape strategy
- St Edmundsbury employment land review
- St Edmundsbury green infrastructure study
- joint infrastructure and environmental capacity appraisal
- joint strategic flood risk and water cycle study, and
- Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 infrastructure delivery plan.
Timescales – the ‘when’
It will take a number of years to put some of the significant changes in place, as the MAP covers the period up to 2031. The delivery strategy will set out short, medium and long term targets for delivery and will be responsive to different rates of growth.
An early stage of delivery preparation will be to work with the county council as the local highways authority to develop proposals for each area. This will include where these areas overlap and identify and cost a comprehensive programme of works to roads and footpaths.
It is important to look both at individual areas and across the town centre to identify works that can be carried out in more than one area at the same time, saving time and money and reducing disruption.
Once a project is identified, assessed and costed, an individual delivery plan will be developed, including identification of potential funding and funding gaps. These plans will be linked, where possible, to site specific developments.
Key steps in the MAP Delivery Strategy will include:
- identification and prioritisation of projects
- identification of specific sites for development and associated works for each project
- detailed financial appraisal to assess value, costs and overall deliverability and to identify funding gaps
- development of project teams: Lead, stakeholders, roles and responsibilities
- development of individual project plans, setting out the detailed approach to and process for delivery
- securing funding
- attracting market interest
- timescale for delivery.