Flint cottage saved from demolition

West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142226
West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142226

Plans to knock down a ‘historic’ flint cottage in Haverhill to build up to seven new homes have been rejected by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The council’s development control committee refused plans for the development on Thursday, October 1, which would have meant the demolition of the 200-year-old flint cottage on Bumpstead Road.

The project has met fierce opposition from the local community who say that, although the building was rejected for listed status by Historic England, the cottage still has huge cultural and historic importance to the town.

Historic England said the building was ‘significantly altered’ in the 1960s and so bears ‘little resemblance to its original form’.

But Town Councillor Pat Hanlon said this was ‘nonsense’.

“It is the only flint cottage in Haverhill”, he said.

“If there is only one of something in town it may have some local interest.

“The argument that the 1960s DIY has done irreversible damage to the property is nonsense.”

During the meeting, concerns were also raised about the number of homes planned for the site, access problems to the nearby road, the effect on local wildlife and risk of flooding in the area.

But George Machin, representing the developer, said the committee should consider only the ‘principle’ of building on the land, not the details.

Councillor Julia Wakelam said: “I understand that it is only an outline plan but certainly seven dwellings in that space is just absurd.

“It is not going to create any sense of place or community for people who live there”, she added.

Councillor Tony Brown said the property should be put forward as a non-designated heritage asset.

The plans were unanimously rejected on the grounds that the site was being overdeveloped.