The Hadleigh SocietySep 1997
Newsletter Index Up May 1997 Jul 1997 Sep 1997 Dec 1997


THE HADLEIGH SOCIETY Newsletter Registered with THE CIVIC TRUST September 1997

Hadleigh County Primary School 9 year-olds visiting Sun Court
as part of their study of Tudor times - their verdict - brilliant!

Inside this Issue














The Hadleigh Society Executive Committee has agreed to the resurrection of the Environmental Group which has been dormant for a little while principally due to the fact that its previous need had been satisfied. A little while ago the Society and others were in hot contention with the District Council over the Structure Plan for the area, resulting from which the threat of a supermarket being imposed on the town was again fended off. Grave predictions of a High Street largely devoid of shops was forecast unless we accepted the Supermarket. Maybe it would be unkind to mention that we seem to have only about two empty commercial properties and new shops seem to be opening all the time. People with a different form of vision have taken on the apparently impossible and now are in the throes of saving even the most difficult of buildings in Station Road. However, at the Public Inquiry the Inspector did allow the proposal for houses and a school on the Ammo' Dump site and area, at the same time as accepting the arguments against the Supermarket. A simultaneous process which was accepted by the District Council as the way forward. Or, put another way, the houses could be allowed even if there was no supermarket. We must therefore be on our guard for the argument to be presented that now we have the possibility of all of these houses, we need a supermarket to support them.

The Environmental Group has much to reflect on and take forward. If these houses are an inevitability, what sort of houses should these be? More 'Chuckemups and Packemins' or something rather better? What of the quality of the house build, what about reflecting the local house style of South Suffolk, what about all of those matters that the Suffolk Preservation Society has drawn attention to? Is it really necessary to knock someone's home down to provide a better access route into the town whilst at the same time introducing waisting as a traffic calming measure? What good use could one put to the ex Ammo dump buildings? As has been suggested by the Mayor, Cinemas, and other facilities for the young people might be very practical. Certainly a rave party the other night could have been well insulated from those whose rest and tranquillity were unnecessarily disturbed. Much to be done, let's hope that members will want to get involved (see when the Group meets). After all it's our town, not just somebody's job or career!

John Bloomfield
Hadleigh Society Chairman


Public Speaking on Planning Applications at meetings of the Planning and Area Development Control Committees.

A paper had been tabled the purpose of which was 'To enable Members to consider the introduction of a scheme to allow the public to speak at meetings of the Planning and Area Development Control Committees when planning applications are under consideration'. It identified that public speaking schemes for planning applications have been introduced in about 50% of local planning authorities. The document identified the pro's and con's of such a system and how other authorities had implemented it. The paper recommended the three groups of participants would be allowed to address the Committee. A representative from the Town or Parish Council, one objector and either the applicant or his/her representative. Each group could only be represented by one speaker, they could talk for a maximum of three minutes and could not ask questions. Where there were multiple objectors then they would have to get together and agree on one speaker only. There would be no requirement to identify an intention to speak prior to the meeting. The order of the presentations was discussed. There was considerable discussion by the committee and subject to the views of the two Area Development Control Committees it was agreed to run this initially for one year. Leaflets explaining how the proceedings would be conducted wil1 be produced for the general public.

Hadleigh Environmental and Traffic management working party.

Survey research undertaken by the Hadleigh Environment and Traffic Management Working Party has revealed a major imbalance in the use of town centre car parks. Only 30% of spaces are available for shoppers, the remainder are taken up by long-stay users. Members were asked to support a consultation exercise to put forward a range of proposals which seek to redress this imbalance. They were being asked to support a consultation exercise within the following parameters:-

  1. seek to ensure a balance of at least 60% of the parking spaces being made available for short-stay (two hours) use by introducing a management system.
  2. making use of non-fee paying ticket machines or appropriate alternatives to aid management.
  3. consider making the High Street car park short-stay only.
  4. consider making Toppesfield Hall car park short-stay only.
  5. consider a mixture of short and long stay parking on Magdalen Road.
  6. designate Stonehouse Road a long-stay car park.

    The aim is to undertake a consultation exercise over the coming months targeting specific interest groups namely:-

  7. customers of the car parks via a questionnaire survey
  8. the questionnaire survey sent to surrounding Parish Councils for their views in relation to parking within Hadleigh town centre.
  9. dialogue and discussion with the local business community.
  10. a public exhibition.

The financial implications were identified: it appears that the warden will be 'self financing' as are those already in use.

Mr Arthey suggested that the scheme should also combine paying for parking, but this was refused to be considered with this document.

The paper was agreed unanimously.

Hadleigh and Sudbury conservation area project schemes, grant application and amendments to the capital programme.

The council had submitted four Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant applications, two of which had been approved. This included the Church Street and Queen Street re-paving - estimated cost 64,000, amount of grant requested and awarded by HLF 48,000 Babergh contribution is 8,000 and Suffolk County Council 8,000.

There followed a long debate concerning a scheme in Sudbury that had been refused.

Hadleigh and Sudbury Conservation Area project schemes renewal.

The initial three year commitment to CAPS expires in March 1998. The Committee debated a paper suggestion either applying to HLF for a further three years or to English Heritage for one year. It was agreed that the council initially try the HLF for a further three years finance.

Jan Byrne


Dear Jim,

At the recent "Old Hadleigh Picture Show" Society meeting held in August, some slides which were shown prompted questions regarding dates of events and changes in the town.

May I offer confirmation of some of those dates mentioned:

1972, The former Palace Cinema demolished. It was last used some ten years previously.

1973, In January the obelisk/milestone was badly damaged by a car. It was later repositioned to its present location following repairs.

1973, The Co-Op butchers shop closes at the comer of the High Street and Angel Street.

1973, In July the super store Saga opened in Boswell Lane. 20,000 shoppers passed through the doors in the first two days of business. The field opposite was used for additional car parking space.

1973, Magdalen Road, the new service road, was completed.

Clearly the year 1973 was significant for the town.

Yours sincerely
Roger Kennell


can be a key role for civic societies. The world is increasingly run by specialists: experts in narrower and narrower fields. This can work against the holistic approach which a sustainable future requires.

Sustainability is about 'the big picture'. One reason we need more public participation in issues that affect us all is to re-establish wider perspectives.

Civic societies are interested in the quality of the local environment. By definition that affects everybody in the community.

Societies may not be specialists in planning, architecture or urban design (although many societies do command skills in these areas), but they have their own expertise. They can focus concerns local people have about the broad aims of policy. They can ask the questions that many cannot: where are policies leading and is that where the community wants to be?

This is a positive and important role. Undertaken responsibly it contributes to democracy. And it is at the heart of Local Agenda 21.


References to the Hadleigh Society and our town can sometimes occur quite unexpectedly. This was recently the case when two such items were found in successive days.

A recent edition of the Ipswich Society Newsletter records their pleasure in receiving the Hadleigh Society Newsletter, and the interest in our activities here at Hadleigh. Their society also receives newsletters from other Suffolk societies, and some from the adjacent county of Essex.

It was from Essex that a second reference to Hadleigh was then found in a ninety two year old booklet. In the year 1822, the village Overseer from the parish of Ardleigh near Colchester, was required to attend a wedding at Kersey church. His bill which he made out to the Parish Officers survives, and includes payments made at the following inns: The Bildestone (sic) Bull, the Higham Kingshead, the Hadleigh Black Swan, The Royal William at Ipswich, The Lyon at East Bergholt and also the Hare and Hounds in the same village. Quite how this gentleman found it necessary to attend all these establishments, just for a three day visit to Kersey is not known, nor do we know if the parish officers ever queried his expenses!

NOTE: The Black Swan inn at Hadleigh, often referred to as The Swan, was located on the right hand side of Benton Street, being the second building from the Station Road junction.

Roger Kennell


Many civic societies have bemoaned the damage done to the overall quality of their areas through the so-called 'improvements' that householders carry out to their homes. Whether it is modest D-l-Y efforts or a pair of carriage lamps, stone cladding or replacement windows, the personalised touch can often do more harm than good. Local character, a key concern of Local Agenda 21, is eroded.

Now comes confirmation that 'improvement mistakes' can significantly reduce the value of the property. The Nationwide Magazine, published by the Nationwide Building Society, suggests that the asking price of a house can be reduced by as much as 25% as a result of changes that are out of character.

'Where we find some of our biggest devaluations is where the improvements made are incongruous with the era of the house,' a spokesperson for the National Association of Estate Agents told the magazine. 'The house will hold its value if it's presented in the style appropriate to the era.'

The cost of undoing bad 'improvements' can be substantial but restoring a house to its original state can be worth while financially.

(extract from Local Societies Newsletter No. 5)


Government statistics for the last decade show that from a low of 171,900 new homes completed in Great Britain during 1992 the figure increased to just under 190,000 in 1995. However during 1996 the number of completions fell to 181,100, the second lowest for the decade.

The number of new homes built by local authorities during the decade dropped from 20,000 in 1987 to below 1,000 in 1996. The figures show that housing associations now dominate public housebuilding; they increased their annual new building rate from 12,500 to 33,200 homes completed during the same period.


The Civic Trust has celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its foundation by publishing its manifesto, called Pride of Place. This is a summary of its contents.

bulletThe nation faces a great challenge - to make our towns and cities better places to live, work and relax. This urban focus also makes sense as a response to the quest for more sustainable lifestyles.
bulletThe cycle of decline and decay that has occurred in too many places needs to be reversed and a new sense of community rekindled.
bulletRecent urban regeneration successes throughout the United Kingdom have provided a platform from which to move forward.
bulletParticular circumstances also provide a special opportunity to meet the urban challenge over the next few years.
bulletThe Civic Trust's response to the challenge is to call for a national commitment to a British Urban Renaissance and to put forward its own vision and Manifesto for action.
bulletThe central theme is a quest for a renewed Pride of Place. A pride renewed amongst citizens, young and old in their street, neighbourhood, district, village, town and city. A pride born of a sense of belonging, civic involvement and a better quality of life.

To support the vision we now put forward a set of seven linked Themes, supported by a Plan of Action.

Theme 1 - People First

Theme 2 - Sustainable Regeneration

Theme 3 - Taming the Car and Lorry

Theme 5 - Incentives for Investment

Theme 6 - National Leadership and Local Action



Martin Freeth has resigned from the Society's Executive Committee after three years outstanding service on our behalf, as Hon. Secretary and then as Vice Chairman, for which the Chairman has expressed the Society's grateful thanks.


The next meeting will be at 94 Benton Street, 8pm Thursday 25th September.

Contact Graham Panton (823503)


Want to influence the future of Hadleigh, perhaps inspired by our Chairman and the Civic Trust? Several members met recently to consider reviving the Environment Group. If you want to join in then come to its inaugural meeting on Thursday 2nd October at The Flying Chariot, 94 Benton Street at 7.30pm. The group will incorporate the planning panel, which continues to monitor planning applications, and this will take the first half-hour of the agenda. If you want to miss this item, come by 8pm when we will look at slides from a past project of the group.



Wednesday 1st October 1997 at 8pm

We are fortunate to get Clive Paine to come along and talk to us on FIRE IN BENTON STREET - The Magistrate and the Servant Girl. As usual the meeting is upstairs in the Hadleigh Town Old Hall, but you should note we have broken our alternate Tuesday or Thursday rule and are meeting on a Wednesday evening. We trust you will be able to join us.



Hadleigh in War & Peace from 1939 - Peter Branch Tues
25 Nov
Shopping in Bildeston thro' the ages - Sue Andrews Tues
27 Jan
19thC Silk Industry of Suffolk & Essex - David Possee Thurs
12 Mar
A new look at your brick wall - Roger Kennell Tues
28 Apr
Freemasonry in Hadleigh and Colchester - Mrs Pat Lewis Tues
11 Aug


Environmental Matters John Bloomfield 01473 822063
Planning Hattie Bawden 01473 823193
History Group Joe Byrne 01473 822192
Files Group Graham Panton 01473 823503
Membership Ben Allen 01473 827691
Secretary and newsletter editor Jim Betteridge 01473 823991

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All views expressed are those of the contributors and are not necessarily those of the Hadleigh Society