Groundbreaking ceremony held as construction starts on affordable homes in Lavenham
A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction work on 18 affordable homes in west Suffolk was held today.
The homes, which will be built on the brownfield site of the old Suffolk County Council gritting depot in Melford Road, Lavenham, are expected to be completed by next summer.
All the homes will be earmarked for local people, with 13 available for affordable rent – with a further five marketed for shared ownership.
The new properties are a joint project between Hastoe Housing Association and Lavenham Community Land Trust (CLT).
The site was purchased for just £1 by the CLT from Suffolk County Council and now that demolition of the old site buildings has been completed, construction work can begin.
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South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Hastoe chief executive Sue Chalkley were joined by representatives from Lavenham CLT and Lavenham Parish Council at the sod turning ceremony.
Carroll Reeve, chairman of both the parish council and the Lavenham CLT, said there is a demand for affordable housing in the village.
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He said: “Quite a lot of people are employed in Lavenham - over 300. Most of those are employed in the hospitality industry and not on high wages.
“The demand for affordable housing in Lavenham is probably higher than it is in other villages, although all villages in Suffolk and East Anglia do have a need.
“I’m pleased to say that the majority of people in the village are positive about the homes and it appeals to people at both ends of the age spectrum.
“It enables younger people to stay in the village and may entice some back who have had to move away. It may also suit older people who want to scale down.
“It ticks all the boxes and the great thing is that the homes were able to be developed on a redundant brownfield site.
“Where there is a will, you can make it work and we’ve had help from the district council housing department and its planners.
“Jan Osborne [district councillor] has also been very supportive.”
Mr Reeve added that the CLT is looking for a piece of art for the site and is hoping the community will get involved.
For more information, visit lavenham.onesuffolk.net/community-land-trust/