Millionaire leaves blot on high street
PUBLISHED: 17:30 03 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010
A DILAPIDATED Victorian house on a prominent site in a village street is unlikely to be refurbished for some time to come - because of the death of its millionaire owner.
A DILAPIDATED Victorian house on a prominent site in a village street is unlikely to be refurbished for some time to come – because of the death of its millionaire owner.
Villagers have been pressing for action to renovate the derelict property, branded one of the untidiest sites in the area, for more than a year.
Now they are to ask planning officials whether they can help get action taken to repair the semi-detached house in High Road, Trimley St Mary.
Parish clerk George Harlow said letters had been sent to Thompsons estate agents about the run-down house, which has been empty for four or five years, following local concern about it.
Vandals have attacked the properties' windows, dumped rubbish in the garden, and it now stands boarded up.
"The property is in a deplorable state and a blot of Trimley High Road," Mr Harlow told councillors.
"The parish council has had complaints about it and we were under the impression that with planning consent some work was to start shortly at the site. But nothing has happened so far."
Mr Harlow said he had been in further contact with Thompsons and had been told that following the sad death of the business owner Vic Thompson, no action could be taken at the property "until his estate has been settled".
District councillor Hazel Blackshaw is now taking the matter up with Suffolk Coastal council on behalf of the parish to see if officers can deal with the situation under the Untidy Sites Act.
The six-bed house – which stands opposite Station Road – would have been one of the smartest and grandest in the village street when it was built a century ago.
It is one of a large number owned by Thompsons. Company owner Vic Thompson died in 1999 at the age of 88. He left £22 million in his will.
Mr Thompson, who left a widow and two sons, left school at 14 and started out in business at the tender age of 20, setting up his own building firm.
During the 1930s he built about 850 properties in and around Ipswich and had 150 or more men working for him. His first office was in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, where he also operated as an estate agent and an auctioneer.
He also bought property and had a large number of houses in Ipswich and Felixstowe, and his many business interests included farms and garages.
The house in High Road has permission to be converted into flats, providing car parking can be provided at the rear with a driveway down the property's side.
It still retains its original wrought iron decorative front garden fence, and the original top-floor balcony, which would have offered extensive views ranging over the countryside of the Felixstowe peninsula.
It has become the target of stone-wielding vandals whose efforts have forced the glass-panelled front door and ground floor bay window to be boarded up with chipboard. The green and turquoise paint is faded and peeling; the rear garden a tangle of weeds.