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Residents of Marham Park, in Bury St Edmunds, speak out over estate’s lack of facilities





Fed up residents say their Bury St Edmunds estate is being 'neglected' due to a lack of facilities and no shop.

Marham Park residents are angry they are still waiting for a shop to be built on the 1,137-home estate – more than six years after the first homes were occupied.

Proposals for a Co-op and five flats at the estate’s ‘village square’ were approved in September 2021. But the site has remained dormant, other than the installation of a ramp by Sheppard Developments – which owns the land – in September, days before the developers would have been forced to submit a fresh planning application.

Residents, including West Suffolk Cllr Frank Stennett, met at Marham Park to share their opinions on the estate. Picture: Sam Harrison
Residents, including West Suffolk Cllr Frank Stennett, met at Marham Park to share their opinions on the estate. Picture: Sam Harrison

On Monday, residents shared their concerns with SuffolkNews

Gerry Chidley, who has lived at Marham Park with his wife Jill for three years, said: “We are disappointed and frustrated our estate is being neglected.

“We feel like we were promised so much more than what we are getting.

The Marham Park estate is on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mecha Morton
The Marham Park estate is on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mecha Morton

“The estate does have a lot of good things – we just need some facilities.”

Heather Hine said: “It’s hard to believe no retailer has taken up the opportunity for the shop.

“There is no convenient shop for miles – it would serve Marham Park and many villages.”

Another resident who wished to stay anonymous said: “I just think it's disgusting. They promised a lot of things and we’ve got nothing.”

Work is under way on the David Lloyd Bury St Edmunds facility. Picture: Romain Arrayet
Work is under way on the David Lloyd Bury St Edmunds facility. Picture: Romain Arrayet

Developer Countryside Homes’ 2013 estate masterplan included a village square with amenities, allotments, leisure facilities and sports pitches with a pavilion.

Countryside said many facilities were being delivered, with work to connect water supply to the allotments under way, while preparation works for the sports pitches were complete and the site was being passed to West Suffolk Council to lay out the pitches.

Construction of a £20 million David Lloyd leisure centre, set to open later this year, is under way off Sandlands Drive. However, residents fear membership fees will be expensive.

Chris Clarkson said: “It’s one of the most exclusive clubs there is and we certainly will not be able to afford it.”

Meanwhile, with no operators yet running bus routes through Marham Park, the estate is served by the Marham Flyer on-demand Uber-style service. This has also been criticised, with residents branding it unreliable and costly.

West Suffolk Cllr Frank Stenett said: “We do not know the real reasons why there is still no shop, but we do know this is hugely affecting residents. This is truly needed as soon as possible.”

Sheppard Developments was approached for comment.