New homes ‘like something from Stalinist Russia’

SET FOR THE BOOT: Fred Cuthbert stands to lose his garden.
SET FOR THE BOOT: Fred Cuthbert stands to lose his garden.

The appearance of a new housing scheme in Stoke by Clare has been criticised for looking like something out of Stalinist Russia.

Havebury Housing has submitted a planning application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council to build four affordable houses in Church Park.

As previously reported in the Free Press, the land earmarked for the houses has been tended as a garden by 90-year-old Fred Cuthbert since 1951.

He was informed in March by Havebury – which owns the land – that it wished to reclaim it for redevelopment.

Neighbour Nic Jarman is less than impressed, as are a number of other villagers, who have formally objected to the plans.

“Because of the quality of the houses they are putting up, it’s as if Havebury Housing is building tomorrow’s slums today,” said Mr Jarman.

“We understand there’s a need for housing, but why put these disgusting boxes up, which would look more akin to Stalinist Russia, in this beautiful Suffolk village.”

Scott Bailey, head of development at Havebury, said short time scales of applying for government grant funding meant public consultation prior to the application’s submission was not possible.

He added: “We will be attending the parish council meeting in June to talk through our proposals for Church Park.

“We will listen to all the comments that are made about our proposals, including the design, and will work with St Edmundsbury Borough Council throughout the planning process to achieve the best outcome.

“There is a shortage of homes in the area that people can afford and, as a charity, we are committed to helping those in need of housing.”