'Sinking' homes may be knocked down

A STRING of homes rented out to needy tenants in Suffolk could be knocked down and redeveloped because of subsidence problems.

A STRING of homes rented out to needy tenants in Suffolk could be knocked down and redeveloped because of subsidence problems.

Havebury Housing Partnership yesterday met with residents in flats and town houses in Petch Close, Bury St Edmunds, to outline its proposals for the future of their homes.

Surveys have been carried out on each of the 20 properties in Petch Close and a set of plans for the redevelopment of the site has been drawn up by Baker Construction.

It has emerged that 12 of the 20 homes have subsidence issues, which has been caused by an area of soft ground.


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The problems have meant some homes have sunk by up to 4in and some have been left with cracked walls.

The former council-owned homes were taken on by Havebury from St Edmundsbury Borough Council in 2002.

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It is understood the council has agreed to pay compensation to Havebury as a result of the problems, though Havebury has put a hold on claiming the cash until it decides what to do with the site.

Outlining the options yesterday, Havebury said it could either carry out underpinning and building work to repair and improve the affected homes, carry out a partial redevelopment of the site or knock everything down and build a brand new development there.

Oonah Lacey, Havebury's head of new business, said: “Our aim is to find a permanent solution which will make Petch Close a lovely place to live for our residents.

“The residents' feedback on the proposals is therefore very important to us and their expectations, as well as the financial viability of each option, will be taken into consideration.”

Consultation with residents over what the best option is will now get underway and feedback from the meeting will be considered by Havebury's Business Development Committee when it decides the future of Petch Close on January 12 next year.

If Havebury decides to redevelop the site it will need planning permission from the council.

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