April 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 27, 2013
The fight to save a derelict house and adjoining land from developers is certain to continue into the new year.
Two separate campaign groups have been established in Hadleigh – one to preserve East House for community use and another to help safeguard land behind the George Street property, known as Cox’s Park.
Officers at Babergh District Council recently held a public exhibition of revised plans for both.
An initial scheme that would have seen the house turned into flats, with four new detached homes built on land including the former putting green to the rear, was abandoned by the council when dozens of objections were received following a public consultation.
Local people launched the ‘Save Cox’s Park’ campaign and applied for ‘town green status’ for the parkland.
Notices for the application, which aims to protect the whole of Cox’s Park, have been put up in the area and the proposal has been formally advertised by Suffolk County Council.
Meanwhile, the Save East House Group has carried out a survey of Hadleigh people to find out what they would like to happen to the 17th Century building. The results of the survey have now been sent to Babergh officers.
Group member Trevor Clarke said: “A lot of people want to see East House preserved as a community facility and many are not entirely happy with the Babergh consultation.
“The property has been standing there empty for a long time and has been left to deteriorate so it will take a bit of money to get it round. We had lots of good ideas and positive suggestions from the survey and we have given these to Babergh. As yet, we have heard nothing back.”
County councillor Brian Riley, who is also a Babergh district councillor, said at least a dozen different ideas for East House have been put forward.
He said: “As we don’t have a village hall, that’s one suggestion while others think it could be a great place for sheltered housing.
“Another idea is that it could become a hi-tech centre for business. All of these suggestions need considering as part of a holistic approach to the town going forward.”
He added: “Personally, I would be happy to see East House used for quality housing but I don’t want to lose the meadow.
“Hadleigh’s green space is gradually getting nibbled away with development and with 2,000 more people expected to be living in Hadleigh within the next seven years, we cannot afford to take away green space and facilities.”