Two historic cottages in the centre of Haverhill that housing developer Havebury had hoped to demolish have been bought at auction for £51,000 today (Tuesday, December 17).
Numbers 85 and 87 High Street were sold as lot 39A by Auction House East Anglia with a guide price of £50,000 to £70,000 and the requirement that a buyer would invest the funds necessary for renovation of them.
Refurbishment must begin within six months of purchase and be completed within 18 months.
Despite the guide price, auctioning began at £40,000 and the cottages were eventually sold for £51,000.
Residents John Burns and Jason Crooks, along with Suffolk County Councillor Tony Brown, all opposed Havebury’s original demolition plans.
The trio felt this had been a ‘good compromise’ after the original plans were narrowly rejected by St Edmundsbury Council’s development control committtee, with Havebury saying had the cottages not sold and demolition gone ahead they would have endeavoured to preserve as many artefacts as possible.
Mr Crooks began researching the cottages after Havebury’s plans were submitted in May, and found a photo of them from 1868.
Although English Heritage did not list the cottages, it did declare them as ‘of local historical interest’, and Suffolk County Council’s archaeological team called the cottages ‘rare survivors’ and dated them to pre-1820.
English Heritage said it was ‘fantastic news’ that the cottages would not be demolished, and said: “We all hope that the cottages will survive any appeals, and can be safely incorporated into the community heritage of Haverhill for future generations to enjoy.”
Matthew Hancock MP opened Havebury’s new High Street offices on June 7, describing Havebury as ‘a force for good in Haverhill’.
More to follow.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (December 19) Echo.