A prominent Suffolk businessman, who was honoured by the King, has described the state of his town as a "total mess".

Framlingham shopkeeper Bill Bulstrode, who received the British Empire Medal (BEM) in King Charles III's New Year's Honours list for services to the community, and has voiced concerns that the local infrastructure was not being properly maintained.

In particular, he said weeds were growing outside shops, businesses and homes, while streets had not been swept in the home town of pop star Ed Sheeran.

Pop star Ed SheeranPop star Ed Sheeran (Image: Submitted)READ MORE: Plans for John Grose Ford Framlingham showroom withdrawn

He also questioned the care provided to St Michael's churchyard and the apparent lack of action to repair the wall outside the church.

In November 2021, the wall in Church Street, which is opposite the town's former Conservative Club, collapsed showering bricks on to a car, but has not been rebuilt.

Mr Bulstrode said: "Now look at the town. It is a total mess. Church wall not rebuilt.
Churchyard never seen it look so uncared for. The River Ore on Riverside totally overgrown.

READ MORE: Suffolk shopkeeper's BEM for services to the community

The wall outside St Michael's Church in Framlingham which collapsed in 2021The wall outside St Michael's Church in Framlingham which collapsed in 2021 (Image: Simon Merrin) "Streets not swept. Weeds growing outside shops, businesses and homes. Rectory garden totally overgrown. No fetes down there now. Councillors resigning.

"The town is in a total mess."

He was responding to another post on the Framlingham community page concerning the future of the former John Grose Ford car dealership in Station Road, which has stood empty for two years.

Mr Bulstrode said the dealership was originally supposed to become a community hall with accommodation for the town council, but instead money from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was spent on building the community rooms near St Michael's Church.

READ MORE: Framlingham news

The dealership is now being advertised for rent by property consultancy Rapleys, which is in talks with a number of interested parties.

The former John Grose dealership in Station Road is now on the marketThe former John Grose dealership in Station Road is now on the market (Image: Charlotte Bond) Mark Frostick, an associate partner in commercial with Rapleys, said there had been previous interest from a car dealer and an agricultural vehicle specialist G and J Peck, but these had fallen through with the size of the site an issue for potential buyers.

"I think it is the size of the site that is basically the issue. It is a big site for Framlingham in terms of space to fill," he said.

Responding to Mr Bulstrode's concerns, Vince Langdon-Morris, East Suffolk councillor for Framlingham, said: "Of course I am very concerned about the town and our councillors leaving post (many of whom I have worked with closely, through both the COVID pandemic and last year’s terrible flooding event).  

"Both councillor Owen Grey (a fellow Framlingham district councillor) and myself will be as supportive of the town council as we possibly can during this period of transition."

The town council did not wish to comment.

  • An archive picture published on an earlier version of this story may have given the impression that Bill Bulstrode's shop in Framlingham was closing down. We would like to clarify this is not the case and apologise to Bill Bulstrode for any confusion caused.