A group of Eye residents have been canvassing opinion on what should happen at the site of a redundant care home in the town.
Mid Suffolk District Council announced in March they had completed the purchase of the former Paddock House care home, in Church Street, from Suffolk County Council.
It includes the 30 bed home, currently boarded up, and a detached three bedroom bungalow in the grounds. Mid Suffolk said they want to redevelop the site to provide “much needed” new housing.
Merlin Carr, a former town councillor who helped organise the event on Saturday, said he was keen to ensure local people were consulted.
He added most who responded wanted to see the area developed for affordable housing, for younger people in particular, with the green space turned into an attractive feature.
A spokesperson for the district council said any plans would be subject to a public consultation through the usual planning processes.
At the moment we are getting in first. We are a bit fed up of being told what is good for us in the pastMerlin Carr, event organiser
Mr Carr said: “The main thing that came out of this morning of community consultation was the desire of Eye residents to be part of the planning from its earliest stages, and not to be told what is good for the town by planners out to maximise returns on the council’s investment.
“At the moment we are getting in first. We are a bit fed up of being told what is good for us in the past.
“People were pointing out that the care home should not be knocked down, because it is a good building and with a bit of imagination, something could be made of it.
“You could turn it into a number of flats, and also possibly not just living accommodation, but somewhere on the site for young people to meet and do things, for job training, and a bit of educational information for young people about getting jobs. Not just housing, but a mix of job preparation and even some work space and workshops.”
The responses will be sent to the Chief Executive of Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils, Arthur Charvonia.
Anne Bennett, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Corporate Manager – for Development, said: “We are determined to turn this currently redundant site into a place for people to live and a source of much needed housing.
“While we are still in the process of appointing a development partner we have already received messages from members of the public about the site and I am keen to reassure everyone that, once that partner is in place, we will be carrying out a public consultation as part of the planning process.
“We hope to do so later this year, and everyone will have an opportunity to take part.”
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