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Former school site in Haverhill to be redeveloped for housing

Almost eight years since it was closed, it has been confirmed that the old derelict Castle Hill Middle School site in Haverhill will be transformed into 26 new houses.

Alongside the new development of the former school-occupied land between School Lane and Chivers Road, a further 38 houses for Haverhill have also been approved at Boyton Meadows, off Anne Suckling Road.

Both housing schemes were unanimously voted through by councillors when they went before the West Suffolk Council development control committee last Wednesday.

The site of the former Castle Hill Middle School, viewed from School Lane. Picture by Steve Barton
The site of the former Castle Hill Middle School, viewed from School Lane. Picture by Steve Barton

Castle Hill, like all middle schools in Haverhill, was closed in the summer of 2011 as part of the restructuring of the schools system by Suffolk County Council, but the following June the building was devastated by arsonists.

It has stood derelict since, but now developer Barley Homes (Group) Limited, which is fully owned by West Suffolk Council, has won permission to build the 26 two-storey houses (eight of them affordable), made up of 11 two bedroom, 14 three bedroom and one four bedroom properties, the road access for which will be off Chivers Road.

The scheme was welcomed by committee member Cllr John Burns, the mayor of Haverhill

He said: “For nearly 10 years we’ve been wanting something built on the site, ever since the school was closed by Suffolk County Council and it was finally burnt down by arsonists.

“The site has been owned by the county council since and despite numerous attempts to get something done with it they have done nothing, so personally I have not got a problem with the scheme.”

The new housing off Anne Suckling Road is on land included in the North West Haverhill Masterplan, but is a housing project in its own right and has different developers to the rest of the surrounding 1,150-home north west Haverhill scheme, for which some houses have already been finished.

It comprises a central crescent of 12, three bedroom houses with a mixture of two, three and four bedroom houses, of which 11 are affordable, around it.

The plans had gone before the development control committee in March but had to be amended to include an extra eight parking spaces and changes to the design and layout.

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