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Why Bury St Edmunds is named the ‘happiest place to live’

PUBLISHED: 18:59 05 December 2019

Bury St Edmunds has been named the second happiest place to live in the east of England. Picture: TOM SOPER

Bury St Edmunds has been named the second happiest place to live in the east of England. Picture: TOM SOPER

Tom Soper

A family has chosen to relocate to Bury St Edmunds because of its green space and range of facilities – as the Suffolk town is voted the ‘happiest place to live’ in East Anglia.

Mark's wife Carol Cordell and their grandaughter Florence, now 13 months old, in the doorway of their new Bury St Edmunds home. Picture: MARK CORDELLMark's wife Carol Cordell and their grandaughter Florence, now 13 months old, in the doorway of their new Bury St Edmunds home. Picture: MARK CORDELL

A survey of residents, which was carried out by Rightmove, shows the Suffolk town was named the 'happiest home' after testing a range of factors - such as safety, friendly neighbours, local services and the level of community spirit.

Mark Cordell, who recently moved to the town with his wife and son, says his new home is "tremendous" and its "atmosphere" was what first drew him in.

The 57-year-old, who previously lived in the village of Pakenham about six miles outside the west Suffolk town, has moved into a listed building just steps away from the cathedral in the original Abbey's West Front.

Speaking of his move, Mr Cordell said: "We wanted to down size and make life simpler by moving into the town centre.

Mark Cordell lives in the West Front in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: REBECCA BACONMark Cordell lives in the West Front in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: REBECCA BACON

"We love the community atmosphere here as it's just like living in a village, but with all the facilities on your doorstep and without losing the green space with the Abbey Gardens."

Since the move, Mr Cordell has even managed to sell one of his cars because of his new town centre location.

He has begun walking to work, where he is the CEO of Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, and says the simplification of his life has been "fantastic".

"There are wonderful food and drink establishments as well as a good range of national and independent shops," added Mr Cordell, who says he feels very welcomed and looked after in his new home town.

Mr Cordell bought the property through Jackson-Stops, a local estate agent in the Suffolk town.

Matthew Cutting, one of the estate agents' partner's, says he is "thrilled but not at all surprised that Bury St Edmunds has been ranked as the top town to live in East Anglia".

He said: "It has a wonderful community atmosphere, very much like a large thriving village and has so much to offer with fabulous restaurants, shopping facilities, the picturesque Abbey Gardens and next year we will be celebrating the Abbey's 1000th anniversary! The Theatre Royal is a beautifully restored Grade I theatre and the only working Regency playhouse in the country.

"We have sold several properties in the town this year and demand continues to outstrip supply. It has proved to be a most desirable place to own a home and I can only see this trend increasing."

The town was ranked second in the east of England, falling shortly behind Hemel Hempstead.


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