Classic house set to be flats

BUYERS who today snapped up possibly the most expensive house ever sold in Felixstowe will never live there - paying £1.52 million just to demolish it.

BUYERS who today snapped up possibly the most expensive house ever sold in Felixstowe will never live there - paying £1.52 million just to demolish it.

The unnamed developers bought clifftop Stow House with its panoramic seaviews because its site has permission for ten flats and could make them a fortune.

But today the purchase fuelled fears that the seaside town - and other parts of Suffolk - could lose many of its best buildings in the years ahead as developers seek to provide desperately-needed more homes.

However, the houses - large Victorian and Edwardian and 1930s-style properties - may not provide the type of homes needed, creating instead upmarket flats way out of most people's price range.

Consultants have already warned Felixstowe needs 1,700 homes just to standstill and stop its population falling as young people grow up and move away and people live in smaller households.

They say up to 3,000 homes will be needed to cope with new jobs at the port, and many need to be affordable to allow the service workers needed for the resort - health workers, teachers and carers - to be able to afford to live near their work.

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Stow House in Cliff Road, Old Felixstowe, was not listed and not in a conservation area, so lacked vital protection.

Richard Bannister, of Bannister and Co, who auctioned the property, said such moves were not unusual by developers.

“Another site further along Cliff Road - where two large houses were eventually built - had permission for five flats so the precedent for Cliff Road was already set. Stow House's site is also very large and can accommodate such development,” he said.

Councillor Mike Ninnmey said: “I think we are going to see more and more of this.

“We do not have huge parcels of land waiting to be developed and we need more housing.

“It will be a shame to lose some of these marvellous old buildings, but they are too big for single family use.”

What do you think of old lovely buildings being demolished to make way for new homes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

See edblog at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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