Plea for cheaper homes in exclusive town

A POLICE station could be demolished to make way for cheap housing to stop young people deserting an expensive town on the Suffolk coast.A survey of households in Aldeburgh has discovered that a total of 111 people left the town in the last five years after they were forced to live elsewhere due to the escalating housing prices.

By Richard Smith

A POLICE station could be demolished to make way for cheap housing to stop young people deserting an expensive town on the Suffolk coast.

A survey of households in Aldeburgh has discovered that a total of 111 people left the town in the last five years after they were forced to live elsewhere due to the escalating housing prices.

Now the town council is joining forces with Flagship Housing in a bid to launch a housing scheme to give homes for young couples and other people who would otherwise have to leave their home town.


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The town's police station in Leiston Road is one possible site and the town council has been liaising with Suffolk police over the constabulary's policing review in Aldeburgh.

The survey results from Aldeburgh showed that there was a higher than average return of survey forms and large support for affordable housing. The town council says there was support from many people who did not having a housing need but recognised the importance of the project.

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Louise Wilby, Suffolk ACRE's rural housing enabler, said: ''The police station is a possible site but we are still in the early stages. From the survey there was an indication that about 54 individuals or households were in need of affordable accommodation in the next five years.

''We noticed four particular groups; About 30 young people; families; some people living in tied accommodation, and quite a high percentage of households living in private rented accommodation who were finding it too expensive.

''We found that 25% of the homes are now second homes and 79% of the people that replied to the survey said they would support an affordable housing scheme and it is really good to get that amount of support up there.

''66 households said somebody had to move away because they could not find suitable housing and as some families had more than one person this was a total of 111 people.''

Anne-Marie Breach, a Suffolk police spokeswoman, said they were contacted by Aldeburgh Town Council last year to ask if the constabulary would consider allowing the police station site to be redeveloped by a local housing association. One option would be for the police station to move to a more central location.

''Police agreed to look at proposals and have since been in negotiation with the council and the housing association to investigate whether this would provide an opportunity for us to enhance the service provided to local residents. This process is still underway and will only proceed if we believe both the community and the police can benefit from moving from the site.

''Under no circumstances will a police presence in Aldeburgh be lost.”

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