21 March 2017

The chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership has expressed disappointment over claims of a lack of progress of the Town Centre Masterplan.

The Masterplan document was adopted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council 18 months ago to help shape how Haverhill would develop over the next 15 years.

Since then a Masterplan task group, led by ONE Haverhill Partnership and supported by the borough council, has met regularly to help shape developments.

“The Haverhill Town Centre Masterplan has been one of the success stories of ONE Haverhill Partnership,” said John Mayhew, chairman of the organisation.

“So much so that the current masterplan being consulted in Bury St Edmunds and other similar plans for towns in West Suffolk have been keen to replicate the success of Haverhill.

“There have been great successes since the Masterplan was adopted and with the hard work of so many people pulling in the right direction, there will be many more successes to come.

“Our governance requires board members, especially those sitting on task groups such as the Masterplan, to feedback information to the organisations they represent.

“Councillors who sit on the board and on the task groups must use their judgement as to what they report and what should be treated confidentially.”

Alaric Pugh, chairman of the Masterplan task group, said there had been lots of progress since the Masterplan was officially endorsed 18 months ago.

Cllr Pugh, a borough councillor and cabinet member for planning and growth, added: “Substantial resources have been deployed and work in the background is constant but this is a very long term project with long term goals and aspirations.

“In addition, many of the actions which have come directly from the Masterplan have been very visible.

“St Edmundsbury Borough Council immediately acted to take control of the derelict Co-op, many stalled developments and development sites quickly received support and gathered commercial interest and new businesses and new buildings have been a consistent feature - including on the bypass and on the old Project site.”

The task group is made up of members of ONE Haverhill Partnership, local councillors and businesses, leisure, health, housing and highways.

Success seen throughout town

“15 years ago, Haverhill didn't have a cinema complex with a mix of restaurants, or a town centre supermarket, let alone such a range of new and improved leisure and sporting facilities among many other things. These all took time, investment, very hard work and strategic thinking to achieve.

“I am confident that as we progress with this long term plan, the town centre will be further improved though this will again be dependent on people working together to make it happen in the best possible way for Haverhill.

“The public engagement run - and work done - by One Haverhill Partnership, with the very active support of St Edmundsbury and others, was such a success that it has been adopted for our work on the Bury Town Centre Masterplan and some of it is naturally subject at present to commercial confidentiality.

“That said, and for our part, we believe in the Haverhill Town Centre Masterplan and look forward to working with others to actually bring it to fruition for this important West Suffolk town and the excellent people who live, and work, in and around it.”

John Griffiths
Leader - St Edmundsbury Borough Council


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Town Centre Masterplan now replicated elsewhere