Mid Suffolk: Village supports father who wants to build homes in his garden so his children - aged in their 30s and 40s - can finally move out
13:27 10 May 2014
A man’s fight to allow his children to live in their own home in their own village has received support from fellow residents.
Retired teacher Ron Allpress, 71, who lives in Thwaite, wanted to build a new home in his large garden, saving land and labour costs for his three children who live with him –two who are in their mid-40s, and one who is in their mid-30s.
But due to Mid Suffolk’s core strategy he hasn’t been allowed to, when previously he could have.
In 2007 he was granted permission to build on his land, but his eldest daughter was made redundant and couldn’t apply for a mortgage.
He said: “The definition of affordable housing adopted in the Core Strategy is different from the national one having been changed by the deletion of the phrase ‘can include sub-market renting, low-cost home ownership and shared ownership’.”
Now, only affordable housing or annexes can be built in the village.
In 2012 Mr Allpress was told that without a neighbourhood plan he was unlikely to get permission.
Knowing that Stoke Ash and Thwaite Parish Council was considering the matter, Mr Allpress took a petition round Thwaite asking for a ‘neighbourhood plan provision for the building of small self-build low-cost homes for existing residents of Thwaite, subject to a 10-year covenant ruling out onward sale’.
He was delighted to receive more than 100 signatures – 94% of the population – but disappointed when the parish council decided not to undertake a neighbourhood plan on the grounds of cost and time.
Mr Allpress said: “I am happy to have them under my own roof but want them to have more independence and a better quality of life.”
“My parish council says just build an annexe but they don’t know how hard it is to raise a mortgage or repay it in your 70s. Building an annexe for children is different as they will not have any property of their own and would be unable to later move away should the need arise.”
Parish clerk Lynne Cockerton said that it would not be feasible in terms of time, costs and manpower to undertake a neighbourhood plan, but that the council was looking to identify a site in Stoke Ash for the development of four or five homes, although no landowners had come forward.