Where are Aldeburgh's affordable homes?

RESIDENTS in one of the country's most expensive towns have complained about the lack of affordable housing for locally-born people.

Richard Smith

RESIDENTS in one of the country's most expensive towns have complained about the lack of affordable housing for locally-born people.

The average house price in Aldeburgh is £318,954, putting the town at number 44 in a Rich Towns list compiled by estate agents Savills.

But the high prices, often paid by second homeowners and affluent incomers from London, have left born and bred residents feeling the pinch.

Residents are disappointed that potential affordable housing schemes have failed to start and that the Church Farm estate has turned into an expensive executive-style set of homes.

Housing was a hot topic at the annual town council meeting in the Moot Hall on Monday and outgoing mayor Hugo Herbert-Jones admitted the lack of progress was very disappointing.

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Paul Payne, a fifth generation Aldeburgh resident who bought a council house, said: ''We were told there would be affordable housing at Church Farm but the houses are £200,000, £300,000 and £400,000 for bricks and mortar.

''Why was that land not used for council houses to be built upon?”

Cllr Herbert-Jones said: ''In December 1988 when planning permission was given for Church Farm, 50 plots were reserved for affordable housing but only 18 were taken up.

''This was because the land was very expensive and it was not possible to bring rents down to a really affordable level. The rest were put back on the open market.''

One new affordable housing scheme will contain houses and flats at the commercial Fairway laundry business at the rear of properties in Saxmundham Road but this has been delayed many months.

The meeting was told that this is because of the impact of new regulations which require inspections of sites on low lying flood plains.

Other possible locations for cheap homes are the police station site in Leiston Road and land next to Kemp's Field. If all three sites were approved they would generate 39 cheap homes but so far nothing has been built.

Marianne Fellowes, town and district councillor, said the district council had an annual target to achieve of the number of affordable homes to be built.

A recent survey of households in Aldeburgh discovered that 111 people left the town in a five-year period after they were forced to live elsewhere due to escalating house prices.

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