Work set to start on Ditchingham Maltings site

Work will finally begin next month as more than 100 homes are brought to a site that has remained derelict for more than a decade.

The former Ditchingham Maltings site, in Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham, near Bungay, has been left unused since a fire in 1999, but although a number of developers have shown interest in the site, it has remained derelict.

Now the area can finally look forward to a bright future as the PJ Livesey Group prepares to begin the construction of houses and apartments.

Ditchingham parish council clerk John Smith said the village was looking forward to the development starting after watching the site continue to decay.

'We have had to live with it for so long, people are really excited about something happening,' he said.

The PJ Livesey Group met with the Broads Authority, parish council and held public open days to gather opinions on their bid, and Ralph Brocklehurst, company board director, thanked those for attending the meetings.

'Despite one or two early reticent voices we have managed to alleviate all the fears expressed and have provided a solution to what had become a danger and an eyesore for the village over the years,' he said.

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The company is due to demolish concrete silos and the more modern Maltings buildings to create 105 homes. It will also reconstruct the historic Silk Mill and create a new bridge across the Alma Beck.

The first workers will arrive on site next week, with the main demolition works taking place in September. At this point there will only be a small window of opportunity to complete the demolition because of the presence of bats and nesting birds.

Before the demolition, individual bricks in the Silk Mill that have the names of American troops scratched into them who were billeted at the Maltings during the second world war will be identified. They will then be photographed and removed before being given to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, in Flixton.

Section 106 payments have been agreed from the project and the Broads Authority will use them to benefit the area.

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