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Bury St Edmunds: Havebury unveils social housing scheme to replace The Priors pub

15:00 23 March 2014

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A new housing development that is poised to replace a former pub has been unveiled in Bury St Edmunds.

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Havebury Housing this week launched the consultation for its prospective 32-home plans where The Priors pub used to stand.

Havebury’s head of housing Scott Bailey said such a scheme was needed to address the demands placed on the social housing system by the Government’s welfare reforms, with more than 2,500 people on the social housing list in west Suffolk.

The area’s local borough councillor, Robert Everitt, has also backed the scheme.

“There’s a very positive response from the locals about what it is Havebury are trying to achieve,” he said.

“Having been uncertain about what’s going to happen to the site, albeit they’d rather have it as a pub, but it’s going to ensure their children, grandchildren, parents or elderly relatives can stay on the Priors if they want to.

“If it had been viable, it would still be open. On that basis, Greene King decided to close it.”

The proposal comprises nine one-bedroom flats, nine two-bedroom bungalows and 13 two-bedroom houses, as well as two bungalows with large gardens.

Mr Bailey said the houses would have a traditional look, adding: “It’s responding to the welfare reform – the ‘bedroom tax’ – which has led to greater demand for one and two-bedroom homes.

“It will make a real difference to that corner of the Priors Estate.”

Last year the EADT revealed that there was not even enough one-bedroom social housing in St Edmundsbury to satisfy 1% of those on the waiting list, with only a handful of flats allocated every fortnight while around 750 people waited.

As well as new homes, St Edmundsbury also recently adopted a new strategy that allowed people accepted as homeless to be placed into accommodation owned by private landlords.

Homeless applications in St Edmundsbury have quadrupled in three years, while its bill for placing people in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation has increased sixfold.

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