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Members approve Bury St Edmunds health facility after month-long wait



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West Suffolk House. Picture: Mark Westley.
West Suffolk House. Picture: Mark Westley.

A planning application for a healthcare facility in Bury St Edmunds, which was deferred for a month pending a risk assessment, has been approved.

In September, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee came to a unanimous ‘minded to approve’ vote on Suffolk Community Healthcare’s application to provide services from Saxon House, in Hillside Road.

The application was deferred to allow the applicant time to show additional information including designing a car park management plan and that other sites had been considered for the service.

Even after supplying this, Suffolk County Council, as the Highways Authority, said the applicant’s Transport Technical Note was not enough for it, questioned the distance from the nearest bus stop for walkers and felt the parking in the plan was not sufficient ‘for both proposed and approved uses’.

Cllr David Nettleton, who said he had visited the site himself by bus to see how it would fit in to the area, said: “I do not see why a health service which is being provided, a vital service, is being questioned.

What we are doing here is stifling business if we refuse this.”

Cllr Terry Clement agreed with Cllr Nettleton and said that having the service there was perfect for the vulnerable people who would be using it.

He said: “For NHS England to support this from up high is massive, this does not happen, this is so important.

“We took the safer option last time, let’s go for approval this time and stop mucking about.”

The committee unanimously approved the application, contrary to the case officer and the Highways Authority who recommended them to refuse it.