The new owner of two historic cottages in Haverhill will renovate them to bring them back to being accomodation.
Numbers 85 and 87 High Street were sold at auction today (Tuesday, December 17) for £51,000.
Though the buyer has yet to be revealed, Mark Willett, regional manager for Suffolk and north Essex for Auction House East Anglia, said: “A local gentleman who is a buolder bought the cottages and it is his intention to renovate them and bring them back to the housing sector.”
Havebury Housing Partnership narrowly failed in initial plans to demolish the two cottages and replace them with six flats.
St Edmundsbury Council’s development control committee delayed hearing plans to proceed with building the four flats in the garden space until after a site visit on Thursday (December 19).
Once such plans are approved, modifying the original plans to remove the demolition, the sale of the two homes (the garden land was not included) will go through, with this expected to happen by April 17 at the latest.
A stipulation of the auction was that refurbishment, which is expected to cost around £130,000, must begin within six months of purchase and be completed within 18 months.
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.