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Sudbury area ranked as one of the best places in UK to live

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 January 2019

Sudbury town centre including the Thomas Gainsborough statue. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury town centre including the Thomas Gainsborough statue. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury is in one of the best parts of the UK in which to live, according to an annual quality of life survey.

Cattle in Sudbury meadows.Cattle in Sudbury meadows.

The Babergh district was chosen as one of the best 30 places in Britain, according to the Halifax quality of life survey.

The world-famous beauty of Constable Country, along with historic towns such as Sudbury and Hadleigh and lovely villages such as Lavenham, Long Melford and Kersey helped to clinch a place in the rankings.

Mayor of Sudbury Sue Ayres said the news came as no surprise to her: “Babergh is lovely. I love living here.

“In Sudbury, we are close to Colchester, Ipswich and Bury, and we have a lot here. If I go to London, I can’t wait to get back.

Friars Street in Sudbury Picture: PHIL MORLEYFriars Street in Sudbury Picture: PHIL MORLEY

“I know people complain about Sudbury, but we have so much here – I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We have a lovely art gallery which is going to be expanded, lovely pubs, restaurants and a great quality of life.”

Babergh took 27th place in the survey, while two other Suffolk districts in the county made the top 50 – St Edmundsbury, 45th and Mid Suffolk, 47th.

Babergh councillor Alastair McCraw said: “It’s very nice to be chosen as one of the most attractive places to live. It’s the beauty of the place – we have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale, and places like Lavenham, which has been seen a lot on TV.

“Then there’s the Shotley peninsula – I came here in 1978 from Aberdeen and it is beautiful. I fell for it hook, line and sinker and decided I wanted to live there for the rest of my life.”

Surprisingly, the Suffolk Coastal district missed out on a spot despite coming 24th last year, while Chelmsford and Maldon in Essex also lost their places after featuring in last year’s list. There were also no Norfolk districts among those in the top 50.

The No1 place to live in the survey was Orkney, after being the runner-up for the last two years. Richmondshire in North Yorkshire took second place.

The survey studies data covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health, personal wellbeing and leisure, to rank the areas with the best quality of life.

High employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary school class sizes and good health and happiness scores helped propel Orkney to the top spot, Halifax said. Orkney is also a relatively affordable place to live.

Richmondshire is followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Eden in Cumbria.

Parts of the South score well on employment, earnings, life expectancy and health and the weather, while the North tends to fare better in terms of housing affordability, lower traffic flows and population densities and lower primary school sizes.

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