East Anglian Businessman and Property Developer John Howard has exchanged contracts on the former Suffolk County Council Kerrison Conference and Training Centre in the village of Thorndon, Suffolk.
Commenting on his most recent acquisition with business partner Jeremy Scowsill, John said: “Subject to planning consent, the scheme will comprise of a residential conversion and new build houses aimed at first time buyers and families to continue to support the village of Thorndon to thrive as a community.
“It is hoped that planning will be obtained by the end of 2015 with a view to commence works on the development by March 2016.”
Details of the full scheme including the number of properties and timings will be announced following agreed planning.
Wrapped in history…
Originally a farmhouse, then purchased for the purpose of establishing a reformatory for boys in 1856 by Sir Edward Kerrison. The Kerrison Trust was formed in memory of Sir Kerrison and the Suffolk Reformatory was renamed Kerrison Reformatory in 1887.
Industrial training provided at the School was typical of that found in ‘Farm Reformatories’ and included farming, gardening, shoemaking and carpentry.
One of the ‘attendees’ was the great-grandfather of acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin who’s story recently featured on the BBC One programme “Who do you think you are” when Tracey visited the former borstal in Suffolk to find out more about her great-grandfather Henry ‘Harry’ Hodgkins. Tracey discovered that Henry, who was perhaps unsettled because his mother had recently died, was caught stealing two brass taps and was sent to Kerrison for 3-years for rehabilitation.
In 1973, the reformatory became a Community Home with Education (CHE) under the control of East Suffolk County Council and in more recent times, the site has been occupied by the Kerrison Conference and Training Centre.