December 13 2013 Latest news:
By Andrew Fitchett
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Businesses in Brandon say they are being hit by delays to building work on a town centre’s public car park.
The redevelopment of the car park and toilets on Bury Road was due to be completed in March but was put back by Suffolk County Council, who are carrying out the work.
It then closed from July 1 for construction to begin, with a sign at the site saying it would be closed for four weeks.
But work was still ongoing this week, with the county council saying it would be completed by Monday, August 19.
Lee Guthrie, manager at Mr G’s Bowling in Market Hill, said he was looking forward to the car park re-opening as its closure had hit summer trade.
“Having spoken to the county council, we’re optimistic that the building work will be completed on time.
“It has been a problem though, especially the uncertainty about when it would be done and the fact there’s not much parking around here,” he said.
Mr Guthrie added that parking in Brandon had also been hit by the pedestrianisation of Market Hill.
Mark Paveley, of Mark’s Traditional Greengrocers in Market Hill, said the situation had been a problem.
“It has affected business, definitely, but hopefully it should be finished soon as we need the parking back,” he said.
Mr Paveley added that the town’s other main car park, on George Street, was always filled up early in the day by people going to work.
The car park lies on land owned by Forest Heath District Council, with work being carried out by the county council as part of the Total Brandon Project.
Once completed, the work will see the Old School Building on Market Hill redeveloped as a multi-use community building, housing a range of local groups and facilities including the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, library, toilets and a pre-school playgroup.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “There have been unexpected delays to the overall project due to the nature of refurbishing such a large Victorian building.
“However, alternative parking has been available along with temporary toilet facilities in the community centre site off Bury Road. The car park will be re-opened to the public on Friday 19 August.”