Property News

Londoners queue overnight in sub-zero temperatures to buy one bedroom flat for £400k

Dozens of Londoners queued overnight in sub-zero temperatures last night to buy a one bedroom flat in East London for £400,000.

The house-hunters wanted to buy homes at the Chobham Manor development near Stratford’s Olympic Park, the Evening Standard newspaper reports.

A one-bedroom flat in the development starts at £370,000 and two-bedroom houses retail for £695,000.

A middle-aged couple queuing in shifts to buy a flat told the local newspaper that they lived outside the capital and were buying a second home they could use if they wanted to go to the theatre in London or stay after work.

Others said they lived in other countries and were buying the flat so Londoners would have to pay them rent.

K Chiu, 37, a restaurant owner from Hong Kong, told the Evening Standard that he hoped house prices and rents would skyrocket even further in London so he could make more money.

“I’m buying this as an investment in London, a buy-to-let. It will be amazing after it’s completed and I think the area around it will have developed really nicely. Read more…

Proposed housing development, former Aldeburgh Brickworks, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh

This application was approved with conditions by the North Area Development Control Sub-Committee on 27 March 2013.

An application for planning permission was submitted to the Council on 20 December 2012 by Mr Mark Oakes, for proposed redevelopment of the former Aldeburgh Brickworks site, Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh, including demolition of existing buildings, erection of 15 new dwellings, access roads and landscaping works. Further information about this application reference C12/2573 can be found here online register of planning applications (new window).

Aldeburgh Brickworks site layout plan

Census shows high second-home ratio

Edited extracts from EADT. October 23, 2012

The debate over the high numbers of houses available to rent and the percentage of second homes continues to divide Aldeburgh, with many people upset about the number of empty properties, especially in winter.

But business chiefs say the boom in rental properties attract trade all year round and rental company Best of Suffolk says holiday cottage guests spend at least £1.5million each year in the town.

A recent report into neighbouring Southwold revealed second homes and holiday homes in the resort now make up about 49% of its total housing stock and the adult population has dropped by 27% in the past 11 years.

Aldeburgh resident of 20 years Laurie Wiseman believes his town will face a similar fate if the situation is left uncapped. He said: “Over the past few years commercial holiday letting agencies have been very active in both Southwold and Aldeburgh. This has encouraged the growth of properties being purchased for holiday lets to the exclusion of purchases by people to live in and contribute to community life in both towns.

He continued “Some once-thriving organisations in Aldeburgh are now finding themselves having to tout for members when once they had waiting lists. The success of these holiday letting agencies comes at the cost of taking the heart out of the communities of both these beautiful coastal towns.”

Tony Bone, of the Aldeburgh Society, which aims to preserve the character of the town, agreed. He said Aldeburgh was at risk of becoming a ghost town during certain months. “Our biggest concern is with the number of empty homes,” he said. “There seems to be a cluster of empty homes, especially in the quieter months, between the High Street and the seafront. It has a detrimental effect – no-one wants to live in a deserted town for half the year. There needs to be a way to cap the number of second and rental homes.”

But Rob Mabey, vice-chairman of the Aldeburgh Business Association, believes the number of homes available to rent has increased footfall in the town. “In the past, many businesses used to close down in the winter – that’s rarely the case anymore. The holidaymakers are bringing more all-year-round employment to Aldeburgh and boosting our local economy,” he said. “Aldeburgh is now busier in the winter than it has ever been, and the holiday homes in the town that are either let out or frequently used are a key to this.”

Mr Mabey added that the association was working with venues such as the Jubilee Hall to organise community events to unite local people and holidaymakers.

Ruth Proctor, Aldeburgh Town Council clerk, said: “While tourism plays a vibrant role in Aldeburgh’s economy, it is vital that there is sufficient affordable housing for local people who contribute all year round to Aldeburgh’s community. This is a perennial and finely-balanced argument, often out of the town council’s control, which is why we are particularly pleased about the construction of five new homes, off Springfield Road, specifically for people with local connections.”

Naomi Tarry, director of Best of Suffolk, said: “Over the past six years we have worked hard at Best of Suffolk to increase the quality of holiday accommodation in Aldeburgh, and the result is that individual holiday cottages are now occupied much more than they used to be, particularly in the wintertime which was traditionally very quiet.

Aldeburgh: Row heats up over controversial Tesco Express plans for Saxmundham Road

EADT September 25, 2012

tesco plans, aldeburghCAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a controversial new supermarket in one of Suffolk’s most popular seaside resorts have been accused of creating a “them and us” divide.

Suffolk-based developer Pigeon claims a petition against its proposal for a Tesco store in Aldeburgh includes names of people living as far as away as Strasbourg – and questioned “what do they know about a busy working mum in the town?”

But those leading the battle against the supermarket giant have stood by their arguments for rejecting the new store, which they say could irreparably damage independent traders.

Bosses at Pigeon Investment Management have tabled a planning application with Suffolk Coastal District Council to redevelop the derelict Crossways Garage site in Saxmundham Road.

As well as a Tesco Express store the scheme includes five flats and 17 parking spaces.

The plans have led to fierce debate in the town – with some welcoming the extra choice and cheaper prices they believe a new supermarket will bring and others fearing the impact such a development could have on traders in the High Street.

Aldeburgh Business Association (ABA) has seen more than 1,000 people sign its petition in support of the town’s independent shops.

But last night Pigeon’s Will Stanton questioned whether it was truly reflective of local people’s views and claimed a “them and us” divide was emerging.

“Petitioners against the development are from places as far away as Berkhamsted, London and Strasbourg,” he said. “What do they know about a busy working mum in Aldeburgh who wants to see more choice in her home town to make the family food budget go further?

“Visitors to the town can’t really be expected to understand the needs of the residents, and it is not right that they should be attempting to influence decisions about a place they don’t live in.”

Mr Stanton said there were signs that lines of support and opposition were being drawn along economic lines, and that households on a tighter budget tended to be more in favour of competition in the town. He said so far they had received more than 200 letters of support as well as inquiries from more than 30 people asking about jobs at the new store.

“Some people in Aldeburgh don’t have transport, and find it difficult to use public transport to reach supermarkets elsewhere,” he continued. “We have had letters from disabled people who say they can only shop in the town, and young mothers who find using the local bus services difficult.

“The addition of more competition in this area will push prices down and force the existing stores to up their game.”

But the claims have been strongly refuted by Naomi Tarry, chairman of ABA, who said they had been inundated with responses from local people.

“We have been overwhelmed and heartened by the response from people who live in Aldeburgh,” she said. “They have been voicing their concerns to us about the proposed supermarket development and the negative impact it would have on Aldeburgh’s independent traders and the town as a whole.

“More than 1,000 people have signed our petition to show their support for Aldeburgh’s independent shops. We have been very open and honest about the fact that we are not excluding people who don’t live in Aldeburgh from signing, but I can confirm that over half of the signatures are from local people, so that shows very strong local support.

“We are now in the hands of the planning department at Suffolk Coastal District Council who will ultimately be the ones to make the decision, based on planning issues.”

Many retailers in the town have also voiced fears that the introduction of Tesco will destroy the “unique character” of Aldeburgh’s High Street, while others feel a third supermarket – in addition to the two existing Co-op stores – is unnecessary. Others have rejected claims that prices at the proposed Tesco Express store will be cheaper.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has so far received 204 responses to the application – 199 against and five in favour.

A spokesman said no date had yet been set for when the proposal would be discussed and that it would be assessed on the basis of how it accords with local and national policy.

“Anyone can make comments on any planning application but for those views to be relevant they need to address the strict and limited criteria that have to be used when making any planning decision,” he said. “As such, the weight of opinion either way on a particular application while significant is not as relevant as whether the proposed development complies or not with planning policies.”

Aldeburgh: Tesco questioned on High Street store bid

COMMUNITY leaders have heard first hand about a controversial bid to open a supermarket in their seaside resort. (EADT 11th July 2012)

Representatives from retail giant Tesco were at a meeting of Aldeburgh Town Council, during which members were told about plans to open an Express store on the site of the derelict Crossways Garage in Saxmundham Road.

They heard the shop would employ around 20 staff, seven full time and 13 part time, and measure 280sq m – slightly larger than the Co-op on the High Street.

The scheme, put forward by Bury St Edmunds-based Pigeon, would also include five flats and 17 parking spaces – five for residents of the development and 12 for shoppers.

William Stanton, director of Pigeon, said: “We realise the unique quality of the High Street needs to be protected and respect that residents don’t want it to be another ‘clone’ town. I believe this is an excellent development in keeping with the values of the town and – if it goes ahead – a piece of good news for the economy of Suffolk.”

Questions centred on the need for full-scale drawings, concerns over food miles and the desire to see products from local suppliers.

Others raised fears over the size of delivery lorries, how Tesco justified the need for a store in the town and concerns over staff car parking. There was also concern that the flats would become holiday homes rather than affordable properties for local people.

Tesco’s Louise Gosling said Express stores were the smallest in the retailer’s portfolio and it would be selling “pre packed” groceries, with no fresh meat or deli counter. She said there had been support for the store, adding: “It’s against our interests to allow places to deteriorate. What we want to do is be part of a thriving community, where people want to go. The store is positioned away from the High Street – it is not competing with the High Street.”

Earlier Naomi Tarry, chairman of Aldeburgh Business Association, told the meeting: “People live, work and visit Aldeburgh because of its uniqueness. It has a wonderful, vibrant business community. The presence of Tesco would very quickly damage this and we believe it will be the start of an erosion of our special seaside town. If we lose the independent stores it will be virtually impossible to bring them back.”

Her comments were echoed by Michael Toppin, heading up a campaign against Tesco in the town, and local resident Jane Hall.

Members of the public can have their say at a meeting in the Jubilee Hall at 7pm tonight. The event has been organised by the town council.

The property sweet spots that won’t bust your budget

Extract from The Independent 13th May 2011.

They are the rivers, roads, county borders and other magical location lines that make all the difference – over 20 per cent of the asking price for similar properties, in some cases…

… Such a move can offer more “bricks for your buck”, says Simon Merton of Strutt & Parker in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. “For example, in the North Cotswolds, properties in Gloucestershire will attract a premium over those in South Warwickshire, although access to the same schools and transport connections are the same,” he says.

Similar boundaries criss-cross the country. Take the Suffolk Heritage Coast – a popular spot for Londoners on the move. “The usual hotspots such as Southwold, Walberswick, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh command premium prices,” says Carl Eastwood of Strutt & Parker in Ipswich. “But head west of the A12 (the coastal artery that stems comes from London) and you get some real bargains. We sold two major properties last year that would have cost 10-15 per cent more nearer the coast.” (Note: Lavenham, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Woodbridge and Framlingham all remain premium price Suffolk hotspots)

Indeed, it is often roads that act as the rubicon. Eastwood adds that prices are higher south than north of the A14 – the great route from the Midlands to the East Anglian coast. “Many buyers use key roads as boundaries to define their search areas,” he says. So be creative, and look beyond your boundary.

Garrington, the property search consultancy for the UK, has seen a whole range of invisible lines develop. In the east, says Garrington’s Chris White, a particular hotspot is Dedham Vale on the Essex/Suffolk border: after all, it’s Constable Country, a living, breathing chocolate box. But just 10 miles to the south-west is the Colne Valley, where properties in rural villages are up to 20 per cent better value for money – and closer to London. Then there’s Cambridge: a growing, and increasingly expensive, city. Rather than suffer its prices, look at Saffron Walden in Essex, Ely in north Cambridgeshire or Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk: all of them pretty, historic towns.

Archive: July 2004 – Hot Spot: Aldeburgh

Synonymous with the composer Benjamin Britten and the festival he founded, unspoiled Aldeburgh carries a premium when it comes to property, says Robert Liebman

The sea giveth, the sea taketh away. Aldeburgh offers sailing and fishing in a picturesque setting but erosion has claimed chunks of land, and the town’s high street is a fraction of its former self. Now near the shore, the Moot Hall, an architectural treasure dating from 1540, used to be in the town centre.

The sea giveth, the sea taketh away. Aldeburgh offers sailing and fishing in a picturesque setting but erosion has claimed chunks of land, and the town’s high street is a fraction of its former self. Now near the shore, the Moot Hall, an architectural treasure dating from 1540, used to be in the town centre.

Also long claimed by the sea is Slaughden, the birthplace of poet George Crabbe, whose stories about local fisherman were lifted by Benjamin Britten in his opera Peter Grimes. The composer, whose name is almost synonymous with the town, founded the Aldeburgh Festival, with performances initially in local churches before moving to former malthouses in nearby Snape.

Crucially, Aldeburgh does not have its own train station. “The nearest station is in Saxmundham and services to London are limited,” says Talfryn Llewellyn, of Bidwells estate agents. “So Aldeburgh has very few people who commute on a daily basis. Most properties are second homes, and many owners live there all summer, and during Christmas and Easter. Houses sell extremely well over the summer because the town is seasonal. It is bleak in November.”

Properties also command a premium. “People often say that they can’t buy anything worth owning for less than £300,000,” says Llewellyn.

Why the premium? “The area is unspoiled, Aldeburgh has a picture-postcard high street, the restaurants are excellent, the shops are good, and the music festival attracts people of an artistic bent,” he adds. Chronic scarcity is also a factor: “Few properties come on the market because they tend to get passed down,” says Llewellyn, who grew up in Aldeburgh and visits often.


Getting there

Saxmundham is eight miles from Aldeburgh. Ipswich (25 miles) is the nearest main station.

Aldeburgh A, B, C

Created a life peer in June 1976, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh was the first musician or composer to be elevated to the peerage. Aldeburgh claims other firsts: the first woman mayor of a British town, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who is also celebrated at the country’s first woman doctor. The Church of St Peter and St Paul contains a statue of the poet (and its curate) George Crabbe (1754-1832).

The Arts

In addition to the Aldeburgh Festival in June, Snape Maltings hosts a series of concerts in August. An annual poetry festival is held in November. Performances at the Aldeburgh Theatre include Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend (20-31 July) and Edward Taylor’sMurder by Misadventure (3-7 August).


Below £200,000, a two-bedroom flat above a high-street shop in Aldeburgh is about £185,000 at Bedfords (01728 454505). Outside town, a two-bedroom cottage in Tunstall is £165,000, a modern four-bedroom semi in Leiston is £179,000, and a grade II listed three-bedroom townhouse in Saxmundham is about £195,000 at Jennie Jones.

Family Homes

A three-bedroom house in Church Farm with garage and walled courtyard garden is £250,000, a three-bedroom, town centre Victorian semi is £275,000, and a four bedroom detached in Church Farm is £295,000, at Flick & Son (01728 452469).


Mariner’s House has yielded two unusual modern conversions. The two-bedroom Porthole Cottage has a 30ft open plan kitchen/living room, terrace and tiered garden, for about £325,000. Mariner’s Loft is a two-bedroom, two-storey flat with two L-shaped rooms, for about £285,000, at Bedfords.

Top rung

The eight-year-old Fiddlers has five bedrooms, galleried reception, playroom/office and double garage on just under one acre, for about £700,000. The 15-year-old five-bedroom Brick Dock House has a swimming pool, balcony, roof terrace, and 4,434 internal sq ft, for about £735,000 at FPDSavills (01473 239886). The five-bedroom Cherry House has a former tennis court, now a lawn, and a sauna, c.£895,000 at Jackson-Stops.

Grade II listed

3 Crespigny House is a south-facing five-bedroom freehold flat in a Regency (1775) townhouse with sea and river views, c.£525,000 at Flick & Son and Bidwells. Originally a single residence, the house did time as a grammar school and residence for the elderly before being converted into four units 15 years ago.


English Courtyard Resales are selling two two-bedroom retirement cottages with garage and patio garden at Northfield Court, £285,000 and £315,000 (01494 689026).

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