Bury St Edmunds residents living in one of England’s most ‘outstanding streets’ claim they are being ‘let down’ by a council-owned property, which remains unoccupied.
Well Street was recently named in The Times Newspaper’s top 10 ‘outstanding streets’, but property number 10, which has been unoccupied for around 18 months, is ‘slowly falling apart through lack of maintenance’.
“It would just be nice to see it occupied again, and looked after,” said resident Libby Hoffmann. “It’s a shame to have such a wonderful house in the middle of the town not used.”
Neighbour Sherril Furnell said: “It’s totally overgrown in the garden and it’s going over my wall. They need to do something. It’s a criminal waste when you think of the housing situation.
“It’s untidy, it’s dirty looking and it’s unfair on the street when everybody else is trying to do their bit.”
To ‘brighten things up’, Annie Page, together with another neighbour, decided to place a window box at the house, while another Well Street resident has offered to repair some of the woodwork in time for Bury In Bloom, a campaign people living in the street make a big effort to support.
Mrs Page said: “The appearance is a shame because it lets the street down but that’s not our main concern, a neglected house invites crime and antisocial behaviour.”
Cllr Pat Warby, who has been working with the borough council to resolve the issue, said the house was ‘ruining the ambience of the street’.
“It was reported a while ago that it was the best street to live in so of course they want it brought back into a good state of repair, and who can blame them, I certainly would if I lived there.”
A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which owns the freehold on the house, said an agent was appointed to sell it on Tuesday after Co-op Homes relinquished its 24-year lease.
He said: “We have now persuaded them to surrender the lease and are hopeful the property can soon be sold, bringing a satisfactory conclusion for both the nearby residents and the council.”