Lord Tebbit to move to Bury St Edmunds

Thursday, 5 February, 2009

The former chairman of the Conservative Party, once tipped as Margaret Thatcher's successor as Prime Minister, is moving to a picturesque Suffolk market town with his disabled wife.

Residents in the Churchgate area of Bury St Edmunds last night said they were looking forward to having Lord and Lady Tebbit as neighbours after it emerged the couple were looking to move into historic Churchgate House, in Churchgate Street.

Lord Tebbit, who currently lives in Mannings Heath in West Sussex, held a number of key posts during the 1980s including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, chairman of the Conservative Party, Trade and Industry Secretary and Secretary of State for Employment.

IT is understood the couple had also expressed an interest in Alwyn House, the former tea-rooms in the Abbey Gardens, though it remains unclear whether the Bury property would be their first or second home. A planning applications has been lodged on the couple's behalf by architects Brown and Scarlett to build a two-storey extension at the largely 18th Century property for a disabled lift, for use by Lady Tebbit, who was seriously injured during an IRA bomb blast at the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984.

In the firm's application, it says discussion had been held with the planning department and there was 'general support for the proposals'.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley told how he had heard rumours that Lord and Lady Tebbit were interested in Bury but did not know the couple well enough to ask them about it.

'If Lord and Lady Tebbit are moving to Bury then I hope the town will welcome them with open arms. This is because Lord Tebbit is one of the political giants of our age. He played a key part in turning this country around when it was virtually bankrupted in 1979.

'I will be looking forward to having him as a constituent. Whether you're Liberal, Labour or Conservative, whether you agree with him or not, he was a giant figure in political history.'