‘Are new homes really going to our villagers?’
Former Boxford postmistress Sally Robbie says she has tried but failed to buy three new homes on a housing development promised to locals only.
Sally, of Ellis Street, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years, says she was told she was a “prime candidate” for the new properties currently being completed at Station Field, off Sand Hill.
This is because five of the 25 new homes were being sold privately with the proviso they had to be offered to people with a link to the village in the first instance.
The remaining affordable homes are to be rented when they are completed in September, with six of them being shared ownership homes.
Following a recent marketing event of the five privately-owned homes by estate agent Linnet on behalf of Suffolk Housing, Mrs Robbie’s son, Nick, 34, who lives in Holbrook Barn Road, Boxford, put in the full asking offer of £205,000 for 17 Station Field.
Mrs Robbie said: “He was going to buy the property himself and let me rent it. He has lived in the village for most of his life,” she said.
“After putting in the offer, Linnet said they were going to leave it for a couple of weeks before considering his offer ‘to see what else comes in’.
“A couple of days before the two weeks were up, he got a call to say his application hadn’t been successful,” added Mrs Robbie.
“When he asked if he needed to increase his offer, they told him ‘sorry, the offer is now closed.’
“There was no negotiation or counter-offer. They closed the offer without giving him a chance. This isn’t right.”
After this, Mrs Robbie said her son made offers on two semi-detached bungalows for sale at £190,000 each at the full asking price.
In this instance, Mr Robbie was asked to increase his offer but was not told by how much.
Mrs Robbie said she did not feel the homes were worth more than the asking price and told him to leave it.
Mrs Robbie said she spoke to district councillor Bryn Hurren about her experience and he supported her application as a long-standing villager.
Mr Hurren confirmed the privately-owned homes should have all gone to people with links to the village.
He said: “They must be given to local people and, if they haven’t, then questions will be asked.
“The rules are even more strict for the social housing in that they can only be offered to people with links and those links have to be quite strong, for example having lived in Boxford for several years, or with close family members living, there such as a mum or dad or child, or close sibling.”