Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

Is Bury St Edmunds a victim of its own success? Fears younger generation is being forced out by high house prices

PUBLISHED: 16:38 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:38 07 September 2017

Bury St Edmunds town centre.

Bury St Edmunds town centre.

Archant

The thriving town of Bury St Edmunds is becoming a “victim of its own success”, it has been claimed, as soaring house prices and rents force younger people to live elsewhere or stay at home.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral viewed from the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds.St Edmundsbury Cathedral viewed from the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds.

With its high-flying schools, medieval town centre, beautiful Abbey Gardens and a range of independent shops and restaurants, house prices in Bury continue to soar.

With the added impact of connectivity to both London and Cambridge, where houses prices exist in their own astronomical bubble, concerns have been raised that the younger generation can no longer afford to stay.

Ernie Broom, 81, who came to the town with his family in 1965 as part of the “London overspill”, said communities like his on the Howard Estate risk dying out.

“The council houses on the Howard Estate have been sold off and bought out under help-to-buy, but none of that money went in to building new council houses,” he said.

The traditional Saturday market on the Cornhill and Buttermarket in Bury St Edmunds

PICTURE ANDY ABBOTTThe traditional Saturday market on the Cornhill and Buttermarket in Bury St Edmunds PICTURE ANDY ABBOTT

“We are all getting older and the houses are too expensive for the younger generation to afford – there is no where for them to go.”

Mr Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) said many of the new houses on the northwest edge of Bury, at Marham Park, will only be affordable for people working in Cambridge or London.

“It will just be a dormitory, and then we risk losing the community we have,” he said. “House building should be a service to the community, not just making a couple of people an awful amount of money.

“We need houses youngsters in Bury can afford. I am lucky I am not young, as it is a lot harder than it has ever been before.”

Ernie Broom, Chair of the Howard Estate Association of Residenst and Tenants, is concerned that the St Olaves Road Post Office in Bury St Edmunds is still closed and no alternative locations have been found.
Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG PhotographyErnie Broom, Chair of the Howard Estate Association of Residenst and Tenants, is concerned that the St Olaves Road Post Office in Bury St Edmunds is still closed and no alternative locations have been found. Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography

Bury Town councillor Tom Murray, who recently down-sized from the Howard Estate to a flat in the town following the death of his mother, said the younger generation and the older generation who need to down-size are both struggling.

“A house on the Howard Estate can cost more than £200,000,” he said. “At Marham Park the cheapest will be more than £240,000 – how can young people, whose wages are so low, afford it? We are a victim of our own success – we are such a great town – but we need houses for the younger generation.”

• Please email matt.reason@archant.co.uk if you or your family are having to move elsewhere due to high prices.

Bury is booming

The average house prices in Bury St Edmunds have gone from £250,000 in 2015 to around £300,000.

It has a population north of 40,000 – a growth of 12,000 more people since the turn of the century.

There are four secondary or upper schools in the town – three are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted while the fourth opened last year.

The town is the only place in Suffolk to still have the three-tier schooling system – with several middle schools kept open by the All Through Trust.

This system is popular with parents, many who campaign against two-tier, and has bolstered the appeal of the town among young families.

Town centre footfall has gone up against a national decline for several years, and less than 7% of town centre units are empty, 3 percentage points below the national average.

There is existing planning permission for around 2,300 houses in Bury which have not yet been built.

Office Outlet’s stores in Ipswich, Colchester and Chelmsford may be the latest victims of retail slump, as the company is expected to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) today that will involve shutting down some of its 97 stores nationwide.

Take a look through our gallery and see if you can spot yourself or someone you know on the dance floor.

A spot check of anglers found that four people were fishing illegally on a water park.

A business owner and grandmother whose bag was stolen at a local supermarket has spoken of her ordeal.

Check below for five stories you should have on your radar as the day gets underway.

Police are appealing for information after two incidents of violence in Colchester which they believe are linked.

Blue has been overlooked by more than 3,000 potential owners and has been left behind by 49 of his kennel mates.

Members of the public are being advised not to approach a Hollesley Bay prisoner, who has absconded.

Motorists are being warned of disruption caused by roadworks on the A1071 (Woodbridge Road), near to St Helen’s Primary School.

How expert are people in East Anglia when it comes to DIY? Take a look at our quiz results and see how you measure up.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24