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Bury St Edmunds

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...or have they stuck their heads in the sand?

I was wondering if anyone out there has their finger on the pulse of the rotting zombie-corpse that is Bury St Edmunds.

Having lived there for a bit and been horrified by the prices I was wondering if the locals still have their heads in the clouds, or if they have now stuck their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge that reality has reasserted itself.

Has the new shopping centre been completed? I couldn't help thinking while it was being started that it would just rip the heart out of the old retail units ... just in time to capitalise on the spending slump from the coming recession. I'd like to think that I was right, but the good people of BSE never cease to surprise ... or amaze ... for all the wrong reasons.

There were some good eggs there by the way, I just didn't have the good fortune to meet many of them :-(

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Has the new shopping centre been completed? I couldn't help thinking while it was being started that it would just rip the heart out of the old retail units ... just in time to capitalise on the spending slump from the coming recession. I'd like to think that I was right, but the good people of BSE never cease to surprise ... or amaze ... for all the wrong reasons.

There were some good eggs there by the way, I just didn't have the good fortune to meet many of them :-(

They finished that shopping thing a while back, havent used it though. apparently not much good, they could have done something interesting with the old cattle mkt, but didnt.

Bury st. edmunds is pretty much the most friendly place on earth imo. Although it seems to be full of Londoners (no idea why) and yanks. Last time i was there i noticed a few closed down estate agents, one was almost next door to that smallest pub in the world iirc.

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it seems to be full of Londoners (no idea why)

It's because the government shipped a load of Londoners out there about 50 years ago and put them all in the estate on the west side of town (can't remember what it's called).

I was being unfair to the people who live there ... I was tarring them with the brush that was used on my ex-wife's family when they were spewed from the devil's fundament.

I'm not surprised that the shopping centre is a bit naff. The charm of BSE is in the old part of town, however that fact seems to have escaped the notice of the good Burghers of the town who saw "shiney shiney metal and glass".

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It's because the government shipped a load of Londoners out there about 50 years ago and put them all in the estate on the west side of town (can't remember what it's called).

I was being unfair to the people who live there ... I was tarring them with the brush that was used on my ex-wife's family when they were spewed from the devil's fundament.

I'm not surprised that the shopping centre is a bit naff. The charm of BSE is in the old part of town, however that fact seems to have escaped the notice of the good Burghers of the town who saw "shiney shiney metal and glass".

heh, no i mean yuppie londoners, not the slum types.

Havent kept track of house prices there, but it seems to not be commutable to many places. I visit every so often, even worked at the marlows place for a little while a few years back, but there doesnt seem much industry, unless youre in the beet trade.

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heh, no i mean yuppie londoners, not the slum types.

Havent kept track of house prices there, but it seems to not be commutable to many places. I visit every so often, even worked at the marlows place for a little while a few years back, but there doesnt seem much industry, unless youre in the beet trade.

Beet and Beer! There's the sugar factory on one side of town and the Brewery on the other. It is a nice part of the world, but as you say its not exactly commutable (at least to any place you would want to commute to). Has a big drugs problem though, and the kids who aren't getting wired are getting hammered at Brazilia. Lots of disaffected youth. Not surprising considering the fact that the parents have made it impossible for the kids to ever afford more than a soggy cardboard box.

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Lots of people who can't afford to live in Cambridge commute from Bury.

Yes, the new shopping place has ripped what was left of the heart out of Bury - before the new area opened, there were several places shut on the main street, and now with Monsoon and a few others moved to the new area, it's just looks a bit sorry for it's self...

The Arc shopping area is a tad on the souless side, I walked through it from the car park. It has a large central area left open - I can imagine that at some point either the market will move to where the shops are, or it will be used for Christmas markets/French markets etc. at the moment though, it got people wandering aimlessly and eerily quietly about in it.

I tend to go for the market, and with all the stalls up, it's difficult to spot which shops are open and which aren't...off the top of my head: on the main street - Woolworths, Morris Pasties, Barratts (I think - the shoe shop) Monsoon, The larger ladies clothes shop (Yours?) are all gone, and I think Next have moved too (I can't imagine that they have 2 shops open...) and there's a few others that I can't remember. The Corn Exchange looks empty too. Having said that, the small shops on St Johns St seem to be doing OK (although Marchants have been taken over - not sure if they've reopened yet - although I'm hoping they have a more mathematically able manager and staff when they reopen!), and Angel Hill shops also seem to be doing OK/not closing...

As for house prices, they still seem to be pretty high, but some vendors are cutting the asking prices. It's a slow old process though!

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I enquired about asking prices at the Arc flats the other day and was pretty shocked. 140k for a 1 bed facing the right way. I guess the ones that face North might be cheaper, but who'd want a balcony facing North?!

Jokers. It really depresses me that my parents bought a BTL there right at the top.. I did try to tell them...

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I enquired about asking prices at the Arc flats the other day and was pretty shocked. 140k for a 1 bed facing the right way. I guess the ones that face North might be cheaper, but who'd want a balcony facing North?!

Jokers. It really depresses me that my parents bought a BTL there right at the top.. I did try to tell them...

Link to article - dated 3rd July 2009 - 15 of the 62 flats are sold so far - considering the amount of time they've had for people to reserve them etc, I think that's a pretty poor percentage - even in these hard pressed times... And so far only 7 people moved in to live in them.

Have your parents got someone renting out there BTL there? What's demand like tenant wise?

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I visited Bury last week.

There's a lot more chavs and empty shops than there was 10 years ago, that's for sure.

The area by the train station with the dodgy looking clubs and fast food joints looks especially grim... the new flats next to them look like a very unfortunate place to be living. The girl I was visiting mentioned all the murders that had happened around that area.

It's off my list of places I'd like to live in, even disregarding the house prices, too chavvy, it's headed in the same direction as Thetford.

Edited by DementedTuna

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Do you think Thetford is any worse than it as 10 years ago?!

Thetford is an old stomping ground for me... while a shops have shut - much the same as Bury and every other town - I think it's about the same as always.

It always did have a lot of chavs, the fights in the town centre on a Saturday night were always awful (not that I ever went into the town centre on a weekend night - I was too nice a girl for that!) and I think it's much the same now.

The increased European population has made it a different place, but in the long term, it's not worse - Portuguese and Eastern European Delis have set up, where once there weren't any delis, coffee houses and restaurants the same, and while the butchers has changed hands recently, at least there is still the availability of fresh produce in the town without having to schlep out to a supermarket.

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Do you think Thetford is any worse than it as 10 years ago?!

Nope, exactly the same... I was living there at the time too (middle of abbeyfarm, fun*!). The Portugese have improved the place, they're much nicer people than the locals. I don't mind immigration as much when it's from the EU.

I should elaborate a bit more. By going in the same direction as Thetford, I mean that Bury seems like it was a great place until it ended up importing a load of rough from London. Thetford did the same thing about 20-30 years ago, according to our old elderly neighbours. Too much rapid expansion and new housing estates without the jobs or anything else to support it. King's Lynn is another place that's gone to the dogs.

*It's worth noting that I could, at this point, buy a 4-bed house on my old street for £40k.

Edited by DementedTuna

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Nope, exactly the same... I was living there at the time too (middle of abbeyfarm, fun*!). The Portugese have improved the place, they're much nicer people than the locals. I don't mind immigration as much when it's from the EU.

I should elaborate a bit more. By going in the same direction as Thetford, I mean that Bury seems like it was a great place until it ended up importing a load of rough from London. Thetford did the same thing about 20-30 years ago, according to our old elderly neighbours. Too much rapid expansion and new housing estates without the jobs or anything else to support it. King's Lynn is another place that's gone to the dogs.

*It's worth noting that I could, at this point, buy a 4-bed house on my old street for �40k.

I see what you mean about Bury going the same way as Thetford now! :)

It's a small world... and the house prices on Abbey Farm are always astounding!

I toodon't mind the immigration - it was a shock going back at first, but you get used to it, at least the Portuguese come across as families, and obviously intend to stay, they have an entrepeneurial spirit, which has done the town some good. It also means I can get a decent egg custard tart...

It's a shame that Abbey Farm wasn't as nice as it could have been: How many new developments nowadays have that much green space between the houses? None... I learnt to ride my bike along the river walk from Abbey farm to the Priory :) and every now and then went to play with friends who lived on the estate - between all the roads of houses were large green areas for football etc. - there were plenty of perfectly decent people living there - it's just that there were others who hadn't been taught about neighbourlyness :(

I have also been led to believe a lot of problems happened when the London Overspill developments started, athough I remember speaking to an old boy who had lived there all his life, and he said that every 10 years, things get rough and violent in the town and there are plenty of fights etc, and then it all settles down again. He seemd to think it had been a bit like that even before the Overspill incomers. As for the jobs situation - Danepak, Thermos and Baxters (amongst others - Jeyes too I think) were built to provide work for the Londoners. It was an admirable plan - as the factories are within walking/cycling distance of the housing that was built at the same time.

Edit: In my teens I couldn't wait to leave Thetford, and I'm now amazed I'm putting forward things to commend the roughest part of town...

Edited by waitingandsaving

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One of my friends came from Thetford. Her dad worked @ Jeyes and was originally from London. She never liked Thetford much when she lived there so she moved to Norwich at 17. :)

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I moved out of the place at 16, the week after my last GCSE was done. Moving to Norwich was strange, it felt weird being able to walk down a public street without having to keep an eye on the alleys for anyone wanting to jump you.

It's a shame that Abbey Farm wasn't as nice as it could have been: How many new developments nowadays have that much green space between the houses? None...

Yeah, the place looked really nice, I'll give it that. Very deceptive.

Similar to parts of Scotland in that way... look out of one window - see the sea and a rocky shore, look out another window, see mountains in the distance with crystal rivers cascading down from them, look out another window... see the 2 local clans having a punch-up. :)

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Link to article - dated 3rd July 2009 - 15 of the 62 flats are sold so far - considering the amount of time they've had for people to reserve them etc, I think that's a pretty poor percentage - even in these hard pressed times... And so far only 7 people moved in to live in them.

Have your parents got someone renting out there BTL there? What's demand like tenant wise?

Yeah it's not a massive %. I personally think the North facing ones will struggle to sell. Usually they'd have palmed those ones off on BTLers I think but no chance atm.

My parents have a house in Peach Maltings, I think they have had to drop the rental price to about £900 a month to actually get it to rent, which is a paltry yield of about 4.25%. Fortunately their LTV is 50% and they have a mortgage at 1.5% or something so it's better than having the cash in the bank, but I just don't know why they bought something so soulless on one of these horrible estates.

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I moved out of the place at 16, the week after my last GCSE was done. Moving to Norwich was strange, it felt weird being able to walk down a public street without having to keep an eye on the alleys for anyone wanting to jump you.

Only once did I ever feel scared in Thetford - one year around Christmas time, walking down the Old Bury Road - it was poorly lit, there was some noise coming from the bus station, and there was a massive bloke walking towards me...

I obviously looked terrified, as, when he was walking past he happily said "Cheer up, might never happen" and kept on walking!

(I take it back - there were 2 times - the other coming home from uni on the bus, and some youths were hitting the bus with metal bars etc, meaning no-one could get off... although I think that was embarrassment for needing to get out at that particular stop rather than fear!)

I admit I used to carry a small knife - just for a bit of security (I don't know what I would have done had I ever needed to use it!!!) as I used to work in the town centre in the evenings/nights, and walking home could sometimes feel a bit iffy - although I never had any problems.

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Yeah it's not a massive %. I personally think the North facing ones will struggle to sell. Usually they'd have palmed those ones off on BTLers I think but no chance atm.

My parents have a house in Peach Maltings, I think they have had to drop the rental price to about £900 a month to actually get it to rent, which is a paltry yield of about 4.25%. Fortunately their LTV is 50% and they have a mortgage at 1.5% or something so it's better than having the cash in the bank, but I just don't know why they bought something so soulless on one of these horrible estates.

That's the problem at the moment - with interest rates as it is, there's no incentive to save :(

When I first joined I spent quite some time wondering if I was better off to buy then, and have a low interest rate mortgage on a high priced house, or to wait, and pay higher interst rates on a cheaper priced house, plus the cost of renting, and have the mortgage paid off later in years than I would have done having bought earlier... I don't think I've ever fully solved that one mathematically, but I think it probably breaks even at least - and we have a sizeable deposit, which we wouldn't have had if we'd have bought several years ago.

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Interesting information there. I was there in the run-up to the peak of the bubble and there was massive delusion going on. Seems that reality hasn't quite reasserted itself.

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I live in BSE, have done for about 6 years.

For me, there isn't any other option for me. I work in Bury too and used ot live in Stnanton but got fed up of driving there every day, alothough not a massive journey it just got on my nerves.

I did see a lot of price reductions when the first part of the downfall was on the go. But the prices are substantially higher than any other town in suffolk. I mean look at stowmaket... so much cheaper and ultimately, is a far better commuter town than bse. but the town of stowmarket is properly dying. I had the joys of working there for a few months and the amount of boarded up houses and shops is unreal. it really is a nothing town imo.

I personally like the ARC as modern developments go. I used ot live in Folkestone in Kent and their town cnetre development is so pikey it is unreal. The ARC is god like in comparison. I tihkn over time BSE will be fine with the ARC and the current empty shops as it is a bit of a hot bed for shopping for the local area.

the prices of houses really are unbeleivable though...

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Wow! This is an old thread!

Spoke to an EA from the Bury area a couple of months ago (didn't know they were an EA till we got chatting a bit), and they seemed to think that things were still selling well. Having said that, they obviously worked for one of the more pro-active lots - if their properties weren't shifting, then they would go and retake photos and such like...

Can't say much about the house prices there, as I haven't looked recently... and I haven't been round that way for a while, but when I did last, I remember feeling how bad the Arc shopping centre was - the buildings are set up to create two giant wind tunnels with shops down the sides - even in the middle of summer it's cold down those streets! There are less stalls on the market, and still lots of empty shops.

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Bump!

I am half considering moving to BSE to commute to Cambridge myself - is there anything/anywhere I should avoid?

One thing that struck me was just how soggy large parts of the middle seem to be - does Bury and it's surrounding villages flood much?

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Bump!

I am half considering moving to BSE to commute to Cambridge myself - is there anything/anywhere I should avoid?

One thing that struck me was just how soggy large parts of the middle seem to be - does Bury and it's surrounding villages flood much?

BSE is all very nice and middle class. Norman tebbit lives there. I used to commute the other way. The A14 east of cambridge is a lot quieter than the A14 west of Cambridge, so shouldnt be as bad a commute as it looks. Only bits that might be a bit iffy are the 70s estates north east of the town centre.

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BSE is all very nice and middle class. Norman tebbit lives there. I used to commute the other way. The A14 east of cambridge is a lot quieter than the A14 west of Cambridge, so shouldnt be as bad a commute as it looks. Only bits that might be a bit iffy are the 70s estates north east of the town centre.

Cheers - good to know, proximity to Tebbit should shave a few percent off asking prices :D

I've done some trial runs up the A14 in rush-hour between Bury and Cambridge, and as you say, it is much, much better than the other side of Cambridge - it is busy with lots of lorries coming from the ports, but fairly free flowing.

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