Cornhill Walk Appeal Hearing: February 8, 2021

The Bury Society’s big event of the year was putting together a very strong objection to the Appeal by the developers of the vacant Cornhill Walk premises on Brentgovel Street.

Knightspur Homes wishes to demolish the vacant Cornhill Walk shopping centre and build three retail units and 48 flats in its place. West Suffolk Council planners turned down the plans in September 2019, but Knightspur appealed.

Planning inspector Mrs Dillon is leading the Public Hearing proceedings, which took place via a live video event on 8 February. Mrs Dillon said: “The main issues are the effect on living conditions in nearby homes. Also, the effect on the appeal proposals on the character and appearance of the Bury town conservation area and nearby listed buildings.

The Bury Society was represented by a specialist planning QC, John Dagg. Our case was helped by an updated retail analysis which took into account the recent closure of Debenhams and Topshop.

The very large number of ‘observers’ was a clear indication of the strength of local concern – seventy people, including a number of speakers and interested parties, were logged on to the hearing. The Planning Inspectorate says that this is one of the busiest virtual appeals it has ever held.

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