Have Your Say

It’s your town add your voice

The Bury St Edmunds Society was formed in 1971 after St John’s Street was threatened with demolition. Involvement in the planning process is an important part of what we do each month.

One recent issue that we have been involved with is the Town Centre Master Plan. We organised two open meetings with the Churchgate Area Association where local people could find out about plans and have a say in the future of their town.

Planning process

The Society monitors planning applications on a weekly basis, paying special attention to new development in the town centre or within the conservation area. We always try to comment upon the more significant applications but rarely comment upon house extensions or minor works.

We prefer to work in a spirit of cooperation with the Council’s planning department and particularly welcome dialogue with applicants who involve the Society at the pre-application stage. The Society does not hesitate to challenge inappropriate development, but we also write in support of designs which we consider could make a positive contribution to the town.

Our criteria for making a comment is usually about the scale of development or how well a new building will fit into the street scene and we stress the importance of good design. We evaluate a development’s green credentials, whether there are any parking issues, are the plans sustainable and what might be the impact upon the local community. We do not usually comment upon matters of detail but where appropriate, we do encourage innovative design.

Applications are considered at our monthly committee meetings and if there is a consensus amongst members, then a formal comment is lodged with the planning department. Recent issues challenged by the Society include the redevelopment of the Cornhill Walk shopping mall and changes to the design of the vacant Post Office premises.

We recognise that a planning application can often generate a variety of quite different opinions and that our view is just one amongst many. Nonetheless, there have been occasions when the Bury Society has been the only independent voice representing a community-based group. We remain fiercely protective of our independence.

The Society is happy to respond to members’ feedback and will contact the Council’s planning enforcement team if we are made aware of an issue causing local concern. You can contact us at planning@burysociety.com

The Society is run by and relies upon volunteers who give their valuable time so that we can achieve our objectives. Bury Society members can forward their views for discussion by our committee. If there is support for an issue the committee may then contact the relevant organisations as appropriate.

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