Nice homes if you can afford them
HAVING seen the designs for the new luxury apartments in the old Bartlet Hospital, it’s clear who is going to live in them – not people from Felixstowe.
By all accounts these are going to be very expensive flats indeed – way out of the price range of all except the very highest earners and the well-heeled retired.
That will mean most of them will become second homes.
It is the plague of our coastline.
So far not that many properties in Felixstowe have been snapped up by the wealthy out-of-towners.
Latest figures say only 179 homes in the town are second homes.
Some of those are in a modern block of seafront apartments just a few yards along the road from the Bartlet.
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Elsewhere in Suffolk Coastal, which has 2,596 second homes, Aldeburgh has 561, but Woodbridge only 135.
The Bartlet development will make someone a very nice profit – millions of pounds more than the health service will sell it for – and good luck to them.
I guess from the lack of affordable homes in the project designs that these would not be welcome in this kind of development.
The idea would be for a sum to be given for ten of these to be built somewhere else.
Let’s hope the councillors insist on an adequate sum of money to ensure these homes for those who really do need them are actually built (which disappointingly hasn’t been the case recently).
It would though be an absolute travesty if the Bartlet’s flats become second homes.
But you can see it happening because they will be magnificent, and who wouldn’t want to live in a listed building in a spacious apartment with panoramic seaviews?
Some of the homes to be built on the 17-acres south seafront at the other end of town will surely go the same way.
What Felixstowe needs though is more affordable homes to give youngsters and young families a home and a foot on the housing ladder.
Some communities in Britain have found ways to stop second home ownership dominating their areas.
In parts of the Peak District you have to be resident for at least three years before you are allowed to buy a property.
Why can’t Suffolk Coastal have rules like that?
? Read Richard Cornwell’s full column every week in FX – the eight-page pull-out all about the Felixstowe area in the Evening Star every Wednesday.