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Babergh District Council secures £130,000 bond to ensure partial demolition of controversial Bures St Mary homes goes ahead in event developer falters




A financial arrangement to ensure that the partial demolition of controversial homes in Bures St Mary goes ahead, in the event the developer cannot deliver the work, has been approved.

Babergh’s planning committee agreed an urgent amendment to a scheme agreed in July to partially demolish and modify two homes on Cuckoo Hill, to address concerns by the council and local community.

The application had been approved, following a planning inquiry that upheld enforcement notices on plots five and six of the Apple Tree Mews development, after they were found to be in breach of the permission granted in 2015.

Bures, Suffolk. Apple Tree Mews on Cuckoo Hill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Bures, Suffolk. Apple Tree Mews on Cuckoo Hill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

As a condition of the new scheme, developer Stemar had been legally obligated to secure a financial bond of £250,000, so the council could cover the work on the homes in default, should the developer go into liquidation.

But, after it was determined that the developer could not obtain this bond, the planning committee voted last week that £130,000 would be paid instead.

They also approved the transfer of the freehold title of the two properties, so that the authority could step in to do the work and then sell the properties, if necessary.

A Babergh District Council spokeswoman confirmed, however, this would act, in effect, as an insurance policy, which would only come into effect in the event of the developer defaulting or failing to carry out the agreed work.

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