Man's anger at extensions ban

A TERMINALLY ill man has hit out at a council's controversial new ruling preventing owners of small one and two bedroom homes from extending their properties.

A TERMINALLY ill man has hit out at a council's controversial new ruling preventing owners of small one and two bedroom homes from extending their properties.

Cancer sufferer Peter Jones says Babergh District Council's decision has devalued his home and could leave his wife Valerie facing financial problems after his death.

He claims homeowners are now being penalised because the authority has failed in its duty to ensure enough affordable homes have been built in the district.

As recently revealed by the EADT, some homeowners and small businesses were left stunned when the authority recently announced it had introduced a rule that would prevent owners of properties with a gross floor area of 75 square metres or less from building extensions to their homes.

The policy has been introduced to ensure there is a reasonable supply of affordable and starter homes available to young families and those on low to moderate incomes.

But pensioners Mr and Mrs Jones, who live in a one-bedroom bungalow in Acton, near Sudbury, say the rule is wrong and that owners of small properties are being victimised.

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Mr Jones said: "The council has shunned its own responsibility by not encouraging enough affordable homes to be built and it is now penalising the people to get itself out of a hole.

"I am angry 40 councillors can blight thousands of homeowners like this. We are now being punished and our homes will be more difficult to sell because half the market has been taken away. In effect the value of our properties have been capped, I feel it has taken away our civil liberties."

The couple purchased the home four years ago, after Mr Jones discovered he was terminally ill. They have since spent thousands improving the property.

Mr Jones said: "Our home has been devalued because it has now been nailed down for a property for poorer people. Previously somebody might have wanted it with the idea of expanding it, but now they can't do that.

"Even worse is that now we could only sell to first time buyers, but many may think twice if they can never develop it. I am now very worried about the situation my wife will be left in when I die, as it will now be very difficult for her to sell and be able to afford another property.

Mrs Jones added: "I am now very anxious about the future. I hoped the price of our home would be maintained so that I could move nearer to family if I feel I need to when Peter dies, but I am now concerned the same size properties in other areas will go up, but they will not here. It could cause me financial difficulties."

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: "We believe the healthiness of a community relies on a diverse range of property and property size. The policy will make a positive contribution to helping young families and those on low incomes get on the property ladder."

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