House to get new life

DRUG dealer Edwin Almond's dream house will soon be someone else's personal paradise as it was announced today a sale has been agreed.It is hoped the deal for Great Street Farm at Trimley St Mary will go through in the next few weeks and then refurbishment of the imposing but rundown grade two listed detached property can get under way.

DRUG dealer Edwin Almond's dream house will soon be someone else's personal paradise as it was announced today a sale has been agreed.

It is hoped the deal for Great Street Farm at Trimley St Mary will go through in the next few weeks and then refurbishment of the imposing but rundown grade two listed detached property can get under way.

Details of the buyers have not been revealed, but it is understood to be a family wanting to turn the five-bedroom house into their own little piece of heaven.

John Graham, of estate agents Charles Hawkins, said there had been enormous interest in the property in High Road - from developers, individuals and people with different ideas and projects for it, local and from all over the country.

"We have shown a tremendous number of people around the house and now an offer has been accepted and we are just going through the process," he said.

"I am very pleased it appears to be drawing to a conclusion and I am hopeful, if all goes well, that we will have someone living their sooner as opposed to later.

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"We really wanted to see someone in there who would develop it as their home. It will be wonderful project and if you can visualise what it could be like, then at the end of the day that is what you will get. It deserves to be a nice home."

It was hoped contracts would be exchanged within two to three weeks and then the metal shutters on the windows and doors - which have led to villagers branding the house Colditz - would come down.

Any new owner will have to spend a considerable sum on renovation and there is a fair amount of work to do. Tree preservation orders for a Holm oak, English and Irish yew have also been made, restricting any extension of the house.

The property was initially on the market for £325,000 and the price was dropped by £20,000. It is not known what price has been accepted.

The house was confiscated by the government at a special hearing at Ipswich Crown Court into the proceeds of Edwin Almond's crimes.

After Almond's arrest, his wife Fiona and two children - one 18 months and a baby of just a few weeks - fled, leaving the back door swinging open for weeks.

Suffolk Coastal council sent workmen to board up the rear of the building and make it secure and keep out the vandals who stoned its windows and thieves who stole its Victorian pantiles.

Almond, 33, was found guilty last year of possessing drugs, 2,589 ecstasy tablets worth £19,400, with intent to supply and receiving stolen vehicles. He is currently serving five years in jail.

The court said he should pay more than £58,000 once the house and a boat was sold and loans and mortgages paid back or face a further two years in prison.

n Is it right for drug dealers' homes to be sold like this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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