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Thurston railway station could be improved under Mid Suffolk District Council scheme

More than £222,000 in developer contributions have been approved for key infrastructure projects in Mid Suffolk – including £100,000 for rail improvements.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet unanimously agreed five bids for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) cash – money provided by housing developers when planning applications are approved to upgrade local facilities.

Headlining the latest round of bids was £100,000 for Thurston Rail Station, which will fund a feasibility study for improvements there.

Thurston railway station could be receiving investment
Thurston railway station could be receiving investment

Councillor David Burn, Conservative cabinet member for planning said: “The scope of the rail feasibility study has been agreed with the project board and aims to address housing growth in the village by improving the station.”

He added: “This is important infrastructure and completion of the feasibility study is an important part of the rail process.”

Cabinet’s approval means work can begin this month, with an anticipated completion date in March 2021.

The four other CIL bids approved included £10,263 for Stowmarket Regal car park work, £31,605.60 for Eye’s Moors Lane play area, £47,000 for car parking in Debenham and £34,000 for children’s nursery provision in Wingfield.

The Regal car park work will feature electric charging points being installed, work Mr Burn described as “an oven-ready, affordable scheme that meets the council’s sustainable transport aims”.

For Eye, the money will replace play equipment at the Moors Lane play area with more suitable equipment, and has the backing of families in the area.

The council confirmed that youngsters in Eye had been consulted on what they would like to see installed in the park, with the council report describing it as “much improved leisure and community facilities for the community and encourages active outdoor play for the children”.

In Debenham, additional parking will be provided behind the leisure centre for use by the whole of the community.

The Wingfield cash is to convert The Granary – owned by the district council itself – into a new children’s nursery.

The project has already secured planning permission.