Residents wait for next move

RESIDENTS who suffered a nightmare because of properties which were owned by a bankrupt businessman are today waiting to see what will happen next.The Official Receiver says the buildings will have to be sold – but there is no sign at present of them being put up for sale.

RESIDENTS who suffered a nightmare because of properties which were owned by a bankrupt businessman are today waiting to see what will happen next.

The Official Receiver says the buildings will have to be sold – but there is no sign at present of them being put up for sale.

Larry Graham was announced as bankrupt by the High Court of Justice in May with undisclosed debts.

At the time of his bankruptcy, he owned Seven Oaks, a former nursing home built as a vicarage, in Church Lane, Trimley St Mary. This is now back in use as a hostel – but no-one knows who is running it.

He was also understood to still be the owner of Sun Vale, Mill Lane, Felixstowe, which he closed as nursing home two years ago, and of the Graham House Hotel, Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

Residents in Foxhall Road said they had suffered "a nightmare" since Mr Graham changed the use of the property from a home for the elderly to a hotel, which subsequently became living accommodation for foreign workers.

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"He cleared them all out a couple of months ago and it has been quiet ever since. There is no-one living in there now, but he comes every now and again and goes in," said one resident.

"At the weekend, a lorry came and lot of large, industrial size fridges were loaded on to it and taken away.

"At least it is quiet. When it was a so-called hotel we had buses turning up at 5am, running their engines outside, waiting to take off the workers to wherever. It was awful.

"Then we had to put up with them hanging about in the street, coming and going, cars and so on."

Other residents had believed the property – built in the late 19th century as a children's home, its walls featuring memorials to well-known families such as Grimwade and Tollemache – had been sold a few months ago, but this appeared to have fallen through.

"We have no idea what will happen to it – we just don't want to go through all of that again. It would be better converted into flats," said one man.

Mr Graham sold off grounds at the rear of the building for upmarket housing.

Also waiting to be sold to the highest bidder is 28-bedroom Seven Oaks, where Mr Graham is understood to have been living in a flat at the top of the building until recently.

Residents said the property – also used for low-paid European workers recruited abroad and brought to Britain to work in factories – had been empty until recently but now people are living there again.

The Official Receiver said he could not comment on the case, but said in most instances property belonging to a bankrupt would be sold to pay creditors.

This will be done by an insolvency practitioner appointed as trustee to oversee the disposal of the bankrupt's estate.

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