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We Need More Homes in East Anglia, but Where to Build Them?
Author: Carl Shave - Director
Updated on July 28th, 2020

row of houses backing onto green field

East Anglia is known for beautiful coastal towns like Felixstowe, historic airbases used during the Second World War, and being home to Cambridge University. The region made history again when Leigh-On-Sea was voted the happiest place to live in Britain. It’s no surprise that East Anglian properties are in high demand. House prices shot up by 40.6% in three years due to a housing shortage. Clearly East Anglia has hot property, but what are the plans for the growing demand?

Development Nightmares

Famous developments like Cambridge University are facing difficulties. Trinity College, Cambridge plans to build 385 homes on Walton Green North Field. They were originally required to include 127 affordable homes, but The East Anglian Daily Times suggests the final number might be 92. Enforcing a certain number of affordable housing suggests that locals are concerned about how expensive the developments may be.

Another controversial redevelopment is the proposal for 100 homes where the Suffolk Coastal HQ site on Melton Hill, Woodbridge was based. There have been over 300 objections by the general public as well as criticism by the National Trust, Woodbridge Riverside Trust, RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust. The Trusts have expressed great concern over the harm to East Anglia’s character, skyline, heritage assets and wildlife. Even NHS England is concerned, saying they “have insufficient capacity for additional growth.”

Are Redevelopments Necessary?

The number of households in East England are predicted to grow by 27% – a boost of 500,000 people. As Claire Astbury, a National Housing Federation manager, said, “If the housing crisis doesn’t affect you now, the chances are it will in the next few years – if not you, then your children, your parents or your friends.”

Redevelopments clearly have a long list of requirements to fulfil before residents give their blessing. The council may be satisfied with an affordable housing quota, but residents also want developments that are environmentally friendly, affordable to locals, and preserve the landscape and skyline.

Despite Redevelopment Problems…

East Anglia has been listed in the top 10 British property hotspots, showing high demand by first time buyers and investors. Workers only have an hour-long commute to London by train from East Bergholt, Suffolk. Another Suffolk county, Ipswich, is a coastal town, which is attractive to families seeking a cosier community. Areas like Braintree, Essex, are in high demand by buyers looking for a strong sense of British history, such as the Braintree Cattle Market. As redevelopment continues, the number of properties will rise and house prices may fall. Smart buyers will be ready to take advantage of new properties coming soon.

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