ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL
CATTLE MARKET REDEVELOPMENT WORKING PARTY
Minutes of a meeting held on Wednesday 4 June 2003 at 2.00 pm
in the Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds
PRESENT: Councillor Varley (Chairman)
Councillors Cockle, Everitt, Farmer, Griffiths, Mrs Levack,
Redhead, Spicer (substituting for Hale), Mrs Thomas and
BY INVITATION: Councillors Mrs Charlesworth (attended the public session only),
Mrs Horbury, Nettleton, Thorndyke and F Warby
1. Election of Chairman
That Councillor Varley be elected as Chairman of the Working Party.
The following substitution was declared:-
Councillor Spicer for Councillor Hale.
3. Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Hale.
4. Appointment of Vice Chairman
That Councillor Wormleighton be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the
5. Declarations of Interests
Members’ declarations of interests are recorded under the item to which the
EXEMPT INFORMATION - EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC
That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public
be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business (minute 6
only) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt
information as defined in paragraph 9 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of the Act.
6. Business Plan for the Public Building: Report from ABL Cultural Consulting
(Tony Williams of Centros Miller, Jim Greaves of Michael Hopkins & Partners, Richard
Crossland and Jane Hellings both of ABL Cultural Consulting were invited by means of
a formal resolution to remain for this part of the meeting.)
The Working Party considered exempt Report U30 (previously circulated) which
was an early draft of the business plan for the proposed public building on the Cattle
The Council had agreed that the preferred option for the public building was a
music venue, with a seating capacity for 500 persons, associated public areas including
bars and catering outlets, commercial elements such as retail, and a one stop shop for
public services and information. The public building was scheduled to open in March
2007, following an 18 month construction period. ABL Cultural Consulting (ABL) had
been commissioned by the Borough Council to develop the preferred option into a full
business plan. At this stage, there remained uncertainties about the total size and capital
costs of the public building, and the design process was still at an early stage. There
were likely to be refinements to the overall scheme, which would affect capital costs and
could also affect the business plan.
The business plan was intended to serve 4 main purposes:-
(a) to research and map a wide variety of arts and activities for the new public
(b) to give a well grounded estimate of the income and expenditure targets of the new
operation and the level of Council subsidy required;
(c) to inform development of the building design; and
(d) to enable partners to sign up around a well expressed vision and develop more
detailed operational plans.
Richard Crossland of ABL, introduced the draft report, and drew Members
attention to some particular aspects. In gauging the market for the art element of the
public building three surveys had been conducted:-
(i) an on-street survey with 293 respondents;
(ii) a young people’s postal survey with 111 respondents; and
(iii) a postal survey of community groups and businesses with 37 respondents.
The market research indicated that there was a potential of in excess of 118,000
attendances in a year.
Richard Crossland indicated that there was significant interest in the one stop
shop. It was recognised that the Cattle Market public building represented a unique
opportunity for a number of agencies to come together in an ideal central location with a
high footfall, to provide information and services. ABL had interviewed representatives
from organisations interested in the one stop shop and detailed responses were contained
within the report. From the “shopping list” of requirements two zones emerged. One
was focused on job opportunities and learning and the other on health, safety and
services. To meet all the requirements of potential users of the one stop shop the area
for this facility would have to be increased.
Richard Crossland commented on the budgets for both expenditure and income
for the public building.
In response to questions, Richard Crossland and/or Jane Helling informed the
Working Party that:-
(1) potential partners in the one stop shop were aware that they would be required to
pay a commercial rent for the use of the premises, and that only one organisation
had indicated that they may have capital available to finance part of the project;
(2) the size of the one stop shop had increased by approximately 10% or 260 square
metres. However, it was considered that the design requirements of this element
of the facility would not necessary result in 10% additional building costs;
(3) the income projections in respect of the different hire of facilities within the
building were undertaken on a commercial basis;
(4) ABL would produce various models in respect of the impact of different
percentages associated with the retail price index;
(5) that there were dangers in trying to directly compete with facilities within
Cambridge and Ipswich. Even if Bury St Edmunds offered a 1000 seat
auditorium it would not necessarily attract “big acts” as they tended to determine
which venues they wished to use;
(6) from the market research, young persons did not necessarily want to see the “big
bands” but small and local and even specialist bands were considered to be
(7) the design brief would address issues in respect of noise emanating from the
venue, people entering and leaving and also from delivery vehicles. However, it
was recognised that persons residing close to the public building would be aware
of its use when choosing to reside in the vicinity; and
(8) the management of this facility by a trust would be subject of further
Members voiced some concern at the revenue costs. It was generally considered
that it would be preferable to expend capital rather than revenue. It was agreed that
ABL would work up a proposal based on the above and that the officers would
undertake close scrutiny of this proposal.
(The public were then re-admitted into the meeting of the Working Party).
7. Cattle Market Redevelopment: Car Parking Requirements
The Director of Planning and Transportation informed the Working Party on
statistics associated with off-street and on-street car parking spaces. He particularly
drew Members attention to the turnover in usage of spaces per day and that there was a
need through management to increase the turnover on the spaces. He then informed the
Working Party of the next stages in ascertaining car parking facilities which included:-
(a) determining the existing usage;
(b) identifying future changes in car parking facilities including the impact of the
proposed cinema and cattle market redevelopment;
(c) considering Government legislation in connection with planning requirements;
(d) to access and cost options; and
(e) to produce a travel plan and Traffic Impact Assessment.
The Director emphasised that the responsibility for car parking rested with the
Borough Council and that £4.2 million had been included in the capital
programme to meet future car parking requirements. He stated that there would
be a report to a meeting of the Working Party in July 2003. He concluded by
informing the Working Party that Centros Miller, the development partner, had
appointed W S P to look at the traffic implications associated with the re-
development of the Cattle Market site.
In response to questions, the officers informed the Working Party that:-
(1) there was a need to clearly identify or differentiate between a shoppers and
a long stay car park;
(2) the turnover in car parking spaces was less favourable in Bury St Edmunds
car parks than car parks in neighbouring towns/cities including the one in
(3) there was a need to address the potential loss of 600 spaces on the Cattle
Market site and a net loss of 120 spaces on the Parkway;
(4) bus movements along St Andrews Street South would be the subject of
(5) a future report on car parking would include all options including
underground and decked parking;
(6) care would need to be taken not to “force” motorists to park in side streets
away from the Town Centre and thereby cause further congestion in these
(7) there was an opportunity to increase the usage of the current multi-storey
8. Selection of Department Store Operator
The Working Party considered the narrative item which explained the timetable
necessary for the Working Party to recommend the appointment of the department store
operator to the Cabinet and then to Council.
That a meeting of the Working Party be held on Thursday 26 June 2003 at
6.00 pm to recommend the department store operator.
9. Key Dates Leading Up to the Submission of a Planning Application
The Working Party considered Report U29 (previously circulated) which listed
key tasks and dates for decisions to be taken in respect of the Cattle Market
(1) the Working Party note the programme of key dates for decisions on
the Cattle Market; and
(2) a programme of monthly meetings for the Working Party be
established to enable Members to consider key issues associated
with the re-development the Cattle Market site and make
recommendations to the Cabinet and Council as appropriate.
10. Dates of Next Meetings
RESOLVED:- That the Working Party would next meet on
(1) 26 June 2003 at 6.00 pm, to recommend the department store
(2) 8 July 2003 at 5.00 pm to consider a report from ABL Cultural
Consulting on the business plan for the public building.
The meeting concluded at 3.45 pm.