Framlingham people can apply for town’s first new almshouses in 300 years

Mills Charity trustees at the new almshouses, l-r Bob Snell,Nick Corke, Persephone Booth, chairman o

Mills Charity trustees at the new almshouses, l-r Bob Snell,Nick Corke, Persephone Booth, chairman of trustees. Picture: MILLS CHARITY - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk town has seen the launch of its first new almshouses in hundreds of years – with applications now open to local people.

The Mills Charity held an unveiling at the site in Framlingham where its 14 almshouses are near completion, including what are thought to be the first built specifically for young families in need.

When completed next year, the development on the corner of Brook Lane and Vyces Road will comprise four one-bedroom flats and 10 three-bedroom houses, some of which have been designed for less able people.

Speaking at the recent plaque unveiling ceremony, charity chairman Persephone Booth said: “This important project has been more than four years in the making and the trustees are delighted with the progress made by our contractors since they started in April this year.

“Our existing properties in Station Road, built under the bequest of our founder Thomas Mills and his colleague William Mayhew in the 18th century, have provided almshouse accommodation for more than 300 years.

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“We have worked hard with local architects Hollins and Suffolk builders Seamans of Thurston to design and build these new dwellings to a standard that will see them safely providing accommodation for needy families and single persons or couples, young and old, in the Framlingham area for many years to come.”

The charity’s application for the almshouses said they were being proposed in recognition of the challenges facing young people who wanted to stay in Framlingham due to rising house prices.

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While larger housing schemes in Framlingham have attracted opposition, the almshouses have received support from the town council and Framlingham Residents Association.

Trustee Nick Corke, who has championed the scheme, said: “We are accepting expressions of interest now from local people who meet our scheme’s strict criterion of a local connection to Framlingham or adjacent parishes.”

Full applications will be requested early in the new year from eligible applicants who have registered via email address.

Successful applicants are hoped to start moving into the almshouses by May 2018.

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