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‘Poisoned by wealth’: Neighbours rail against rich second home owners destroying ‘Chelsea-on-sea’

‘Poisoned by wealth’: Neighbours rail against rich second home owners destroying their picturesque ‘Chelsea-on-sea’ village and driving up house prices by 230 per cent

  • Villagers in Burnham Market, Norfolk, hit back at astronomical house prices
  • Erecting a fake English Heritage site plaque over a historical ‘dying’ pharmacy  
  • Buyer was not found for pharmacy after death of owners Sue and Brian Symonds 
  • Celebs such as Stephen Fry, TV presenter Anneka Rice and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have all bought in the area

A picturesque seaside community on the east coast of England is being ‘poisoned by wealth’ as rich celebs buy up properties for second homes and holiday rentals, pricing out locals.

Villagers in Burnham Market, Norfolk, known as ‘Chelsea-on-sea’ have hit back at the now astronomical house prices, driven by high-profile buyers, which have risen 230 per cent over the last two decades, according to Zoopla.  

The idyllic coastal village is said to have fallen victim to Norfolk’s ‘posh plague’ with celebs including Stephen Fry, Amanda Holden, TV presenter Anneka Rice and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having bought property in the area. 

Upmarket shops in the fashionable village of Burnham Market on the north Norfolk coast, England

After the recent sale of the historical Burnham Market pharmacy, disgruntled locals erected a fake English Heritage site plaque

After the recent sale of the historical Burnham Market pharmacy, disgruntled locals erected a fake English Heritage site plaque

After the recent sale of a historical pharmacy, disgruntled locals erected a fake English Heritage site plaque reading: ‘The Pharmacy 1830-2019 Burnham Market; a dying village, poisoned by wealth. Finally dispensed with. RIP.’    

The pharmacy, steeped in history, was the unwitting vendor of arsenic to notorious murderers Frances Billing and Catherine Frary in 1835 – leading to the death of three victims and later the public hanging of the two perpetrators.

It was put up for sale following the death of pharmacy owners of thirty years Sue and Brian Symonds last year, the couple had moved from London to run the pharmacy in 1985. Sue died in December with her husband falling down the stairs to his death on the day of her funeral.

Despite the best efforts of the couple’s children the pharmacy was forced to close in June, with no pharmacist able to afford the sky high house prices in the area, now at an average of £593,423, reports The Sunday Times

Stephen Fry, who is believed to have bought property n the area

Amanda Holden, TV presenter, also believed to live part-time in the area

Stephen Fry, who is believed to have bought property in the area (left). Amanda Holden, TV presenter, also believed to live part-time in the area (right)

It joins other local amenities including a village school, banks and post offices which have closed since the price hike – now replaced with high end shops and restaurants. 

Samantha Sandell, councillor for Burnham Market and Docking on King’s Lynn and West Norfolk borough council, told The Sunday Times: ‘The second-homers employ a lot of people with their house renovations, like decorators and gardeners, and spend money in the shops — but at what cost? ‘A window cleaner told me he had been cleaning the windows of one second home for 15 years and never once met the owner. She just texts him when she wants them done. That isn’t being part of the community.’  

The Hoste Arms public house, bar and restaurant at Burnham Market in North Norfolk, England

The Hoste Arms public house, bar and restaurant at Burnham Market in North Norfolk, England

With many Norfolk villages now dominated by tourism estate agents for nearby Brancaster estimate that 90 per cent of the village’s occupants are second home owners and part-timers, reports The Sunday Times.

Although it may be the end of Burnham Market’s historic pharmacy a new one could be due to open soon in another location after investor Tim Roberts from Essex took out a 20-year lease on a property.

Sue and Brian Symonds’ daughter, Sam Gibbs, told The Sunday Times: ‘I’m hoping we can make the most of the sad situation and one of these new rich investors will give something back.’   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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