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53 new homes could be coming to Rushmere St Andrew

PUBLISHED: 06:08 16 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 17 June 2019

Burnt out remains of the derelict thatched cottage after the fire in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Burnt out remains of the derelict thatched cottage after the fire in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Planners have been granted permission to build dozens of new homes on a substantial site near Ipswich.

Burnt out remains of the derelict thatched cottage after the fire in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBurnt out remains of the derelict thatched cottage after the fire in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A sale has been agreed for the site in Rushmere St Andrew which could be home to 53 new properties, including retirement apartments and affordable houses.

The 4.5-acre plot of land, adjacent to The Street, was originally left to a consortium of charities by owners Charles and Norah Baldwin more than a decade ago.

The plan was to convert the site, including the thatched cottage where the couple once lived, into a plot of 14 homes.

However, nothing ever happened to the property. The cottage remained empty for 10 years after Mrs Baldwin died at the age of 94.

Charles Baldwin with his daughter, June Picture: PAUL NIXONCharles Baldwin with his daughter, June Picture: PAUL NIXON

It emerged that the charities sold the land on to a private property development firm based in Essex in July 2016.

But the cottage was destroyed in a huge fire in October 2017, and since then the land has remained untouched.

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Now it appears the site could finally see a new lease of life, more than a decade since it was earmarked for development.

Property and land auctioneers Goldings, based in Ipswich, said a sale has been agreed for the 4.5-acre plot after it went under the hammer in May - with a guide price of £3million.

It currently has planning permission for 53 dwellings, including 18 retirement apartments, 14 affordable houses and 21 open market houses.

However the proposed development has proved controversial with Rushmere residents - many of whom objected to the plans when they were up for consultation earlier this year.

Another resident who lives in The Street said: "I am shocked at this proposal to build 53 dwellings almost next to my home. It is almost like a nightmare.

"I can't imagine the noise and disruption there will be when and if the construction starts. I vehemently oppose the proposition and hope all the residents of the village do the same."

Diane Hance, also of The Street, added: "This planning application has a ridiculous amount of housing and parking for such a small village.

"The traffic to and from this site will have a massive impact on our street, which is narrow, has a footpath only on one side of it - which is also narrow and sometimes impassable due to irresponsible vehicle drivers parking on the pavement, and is already used as a rat-run."

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