Erwarton News Archive

Fresh Application Made For Homes Next To Erwarton Hall

Friday, May 10, 1500

A Dutch barn on land neighbouring historic Erwaton Hall will be demolished and turned into three new homes and two contemporary barns to be used as dwellings, if plans are approved by Babergh planners. 

Owners of the former farmyard and stables, JRH Veenbaas and Co, want to build one three-bed, three four-bed and one to be determined, homes with provision for 26 car parking and 15 cycles spaces, to be sold on the open market. 

The new applications replace a planned development for the conversion and restoration of existing redundant farm buildings to form five new dwellings. put forward last year but withdrawn following a number of objections, before being determined by planning officers.

Concerns were previously raised in regard to vehicle access to The Street, Erwarton, and the impact to the Grade Two* listed Erwarton Hall and Gatehouse,once owned by Sir Philip parker, uncle to Anne Boleyn whose heart is reputed to be buried at the nearby St Mary's church.

View full application DC/19/02206 and associated documents, or to leave comment please click here...

New Local Needs Homes Get Green Light

Thursday, February 21, 18.30

Eight new social homes will be built in Shotley after planners gave the go ahead. 

Five two bedroom houses will replace two dilapidated buildings at Queensland, while three more two beds will go up in place of one old bungalow further along the street.

All three of the new homes at the site of the former number 16 house (pictured right)  have been allocated as ‘Local needs’ which means priority will be given to those with strong Shotley & Erwarton connections, cascading out to Harkstead and Chelmondiston then to the wider peninsula.

The other five have been designated as ‘Babergh wide needs’ which would allow residents from across the district to apply.

Both developments were passed unanimously by the 13 Babergh members of the planning committee, which heard the application at Endeavour House on Wednesday.

 One neighbour aired her concerns at the proximity of the new builds to her home in Queensland but said she supported the scheme in principle.

The plans were supported by Shotley Parish council and district councillor Derek Davis who successfully argued the case for Shotley & Erwaton residents getting priority for allocation.

“I’m delighted these new two-bedroom homes have been given the go ahead.” said Cllr Davis. “They will help our housing need in Shotley & Erwarton, and then wider.

“A lot of work was done by Babergh’s housing team to get this scheme together, with the support of Shotley parish council and Erwarton’s parish meeting.”

Concerns were raised by Suffolk Highways regarding access at number 16 but developers were able to show it would be safe.

One suggestion made at the hearing by Cllr Davis, after speaking to some of the neighbours beforehand, is to apply to Highways to make Queensland a one-way street, following full consultation.

It is expected the eight new homes scheme will be completed before the end of this year.

Anyone interested in applying for the two-bedroom home sin Queensland will need to be registered on Gateway to Homechoice. Gateway Website

Or contact Cllr Davis - for more details.

Latest peninsula news...

Staying Alive Crew Need People To Respond

Saturday, February 16, 10.30

A vital life-saving service is down to just two volunteers and is looking for more people to step forward. 

Community first responders are volunteers trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

Their role is to help stabilise the patient and provide the appropriate care until the more highly skilled ambulance crew arrives on scene to take over the treatment.

“We really need new people now as we are down to just me and Dave (Mills),” said first responder Wendy Corness. “We did have as many as 15 at one point with some using it as a stepping stone for other things, such as becoming a paramedics. That means they can't volunteer with us because they are doing it as a full time job, which is brilliant, but leaves us a bit short.”

The CFR scheme covers Shotley and Shotley Gate. It is a group of volunteers who meet, usually on a monthly basis, to sort out a rota, support each other and to keep skills up-to-date.

Mostly, response is to 999 calls for breathing and heart problems. The group has a full kit which includes a defibrillator and oxygen. Full training and skill assessment is provided by the Ambulance Service to new volunteers.

While the group aspires to providing 24/7 cover, the rota depends entirely on volunteers providing what cover they can around their usual commitments.

If you interested in supporting our community to provide emergency medical response assistance until the emergency services arrive then this is the group for you.

* Member sf the first responders are holding a commercial first aid training course on Tuesday, March 12, at the Shipwreck, Shotley Marina. £25 per place with 25% donated to the group. (see poster for more info)

For information on first responders, or to book on the first aid course: Contact Dave Mills, Co-ordinator - 07941 228029 or Wendy Corness - 07979 382500

More peninsula News headlines

HMRC Arrest Warrant Threat Scam Warning

Monday, February 11, 1800

A concerned tax-payer from Erwarton has warned people to be on their guard after getting a scam call from an aggressive woman claiming to be from the HMRC. 

The caller claimed a warrant for Caroline Outhwaite’s arrest for non-payment of tax had been issued and police would be calling within 48 hours. 

Mrs Outhwaite was also told over the phone bailiffs had twice called at her home and would be returning to seize good if she did not pay £3,500 immediately.

Although shaken, frightened and upset, Mrs Outhwaite refused to bow to the pressure and insisted she wanted to check first as she knew she did not have any outstanding tax.

HMRC confirmed the caller was bogus and they were aware of the scam taking place nationwide.

It appears the scammers are targeting people who have received some sort of disability benefit and Mrs Outhwaite is concerned they could be a soft touch.

“What worries me is someone more vulnerable, maybe an elderly person,” said Mrs Outhwaite. “The woman was so convincing. She even used the HMRC which came up on my caller ID.

“She was very aggressive and kept telling me to be quiet and just listen.

“She told me I was going to arrested, how a warrant was out for me and how bailiffs had already been to my house twice when I wasn’t in.

“It was an awful experience and I’m really worried other people will get these calls and I want to warn them not to send any money.”

Suffolk Trading Standards are aware of the scam and have sent out warnings on social media.

A Trading Standards spokeswoman today told Peninsula News: “Our advice to anyone receiving these call is to hang up. Locate the number of HMRC, or then wait 10 minutes before calling them, ideally use other phone line if possible.”

HMRC advise that it it is important to note that you’ll never get an email, text message or phone call from HMRC that tells you about a tax rebate or penalty or asks for your personal and payment information.

If you receive such a call or feel that there is something untoward going on, the advice from is to search on their website to find official government services and phone numbers.

This will give you a clearer idea of whether the phone number is legitimate.

You can also report any misleading website, email or phone number to Action Fraud, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.

More information on HMRC's guidance on recognising scams can be found here.

To report a scam call: Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office
Online via their online fraud reporting tool
Telephone: 0300 123 2040

Man Bitten As Husky Attacks Terrier

Friday, January 25, 1700

Police are investigating after an Erwarton man was bitten by a Husky dog as he bravely tried to protect his small terrier. 

Graham Coleman needed hospital treatment for his injuries to a wrist and hand, which was left bleeding.

His pet dog, a small West Highland White terrier, was shaken but not injured in the attack as they out for  a walk in Erwarton.

Mr Coleman managed to get hold of the Husky’s lead and return it to the owner, who was already holding two other large dogs.

Mr Colman’s wife Gloria reported the attack on Sunday, and police contacted her today to confirm they would be investigating the incident.

Mrs Coleman said: “It was really nasty and there was blood from the bite.

“I’m really concerned this could happen again. It would be awful if anyone else was bitten, especially if it were a young child.”

 A Suffolk Police spokesperson said: “Police can confirm that a report was received on Sunday 20 January at about 9.40am of one dog attacking another dog.

“In an effort to separate the two animals he was bitten on wrist and hand, sustaining bruising to the wrist and went to hospital to be checked.”

It is against the law for an owner to allow its dog to be out of control in a public place if it injures someone or:makes someone worried that it might injure them.

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal.

Latest Peninsula news...

Cash Boost For Erwarton From Builders' Levy

Wednesday, January 16, 1600

Erwarton parish has a potential cash boost of more than £10,000 heading its way. 

The money comes from Erwarton’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and can be used by the parish for projects within the village.

Two developments due to be built in Erwarton are eligible for CIL, with nine houses built on land on Queens Road eventually paying £5,700 and two new homes on the Street bringing in a potential £4,369.

Babergh District Council adopted the CIL policy in 2016 and are the first authority in the country to produce an easy to use link, using software by Exacom.

The district council have already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after officers collected more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.

CIL is a set payment made by developers to support the infrastructure for communities and is split into three pots.

One is 15% of the total due paid to parishes from the neighbourhood pot, unless they have a Neighbourhood Development Plan when 20% is then payable to the village.  

Another pot, called the 123 list, which is the percentage paid to the district and open for anyone eligible to apply for. This includes parish councils, community groups, the NHS, and the county council for education and infrastructure, including highways.

The third is the amount paid to Babergh to administer the scheme.

Derek Davis, Berners District Councillor, said: “Parishes on the peninsula are beginning to see the upside of development with this levy being paid directly for the benefit of neighbourhoods.

“This money is for Erwarton residents to make the most of for community projects to make our lives better today, and in the future.

“The wider pot can also be applied for and again it is something I would encourage parish councils and community groups to do.

“Please feel free to get in touch with me or the CIL team at Babergh if you would like to know how this CIL can help you.”

Cllr Davis is the cabinet member responsible for the Exacom project which is the first in the country of its type.

“The pilot has already attracted interest from a number of local authorities, and indeed, the Home Office,” said Cllr Davis. “It is an easy to use tool for all parish councils, and community group leaders, to see exactly what is available for a wide variety of infrastructure projects within communities.”

Babergh has already allocated more than £850,000 within the district, after collecting more than £2m from a potential £9.4m.

To check how much is CIL is due in your peninsula village go to the Babergh Development Link here…

Social Housing Boost For Shotley & Erwarton

Monday, November 19. 13.00

Eight new social homes have been put forward by Babergh council working with a housing association. 

Two set of plans have been submitted to demolish three houses in Queensland, Shotley to be replaced by eight two-bedroom homes for an affordable rent.

An application has been put forward to build five homes on a large plot of land, which used to house numbers one and three, and another three would be built where number 16 currently sits.

The two bungalows nearest the doctors surgery, with be related by two semi-detached bungalows, and terrace of three bungalows - all two-bedroom. There will be 12 car parking spaces for residents and visitors.

Number 16 will be demolished to make way for three bungalows, with parking spaces for six vehicles.

The application has been made by Babergh District Council, that will work in partnership with Haste Housing Association, but the proposals will have to be heard by a planning committee, that will make the decide to approve or refuse.

District councillor Derek Davis supports the application but wants a condition imposed which would mean residents with strong Shotley or Erwarton connections get priority when applying to live in the properties.

"It is important that those with a housing need from within our community have first choice on these new homes," said Cllr Davis. "They may not always be top of the Gateway Home Choice list in terms of points but more often than not, we have a need, and responsibility, to house young and old in the village, for a variety of good reasons."

The plans also have the backing of the parish council, that supports Cllr Davis' bid to ensure Shotley & Erwarton residents get priority.

*Buy and sell in our Online Christmas Market

Controversial New Homes Plans Scrapped

Wednesday, September 20, 17.00

A controversial bid to build five new homes next to the historic Erwarton Hall has been withdrawn.

The plans submitted him VRH Veenbaas, owners of Erwrton hall Farm, requested permission to convert disused farm buildings into large family homes., however they faced fierce opposition.

Babergh planning officers received 15 letters objecting to the proposed development, with no letters of support. Suffolk Highways, the AONB, Historic England and other statutory bodies also objected.

The objectors included Mr and Mrs Kyle, who own Erwarton Hall and pointed to the detrimental impact the development would have on the historic building and traffic issues..

As part of their written submission outlining their reasons for opposing the plans, which they were not consulted before the application was made, the Kyles wrote: "With the proposed proximity of families with young members we also fear a little specifically for the safety of the Erwarton Gatehouse which for almost 500 years has stood, vulnerable and unprotected in this location, fondly regarded by antiquarians, the local community as a whole and many who come from far to see it."
 The outline application stated the L-shaped houses would become one three-bedroomed, and up to four four-bedroomed houses, with car parking spaces for 26 vehicles.

 Although Erwarton Hall is a Grade 2* listed c16 building, the outbuildings, on the left hand side of the Gate House and drive leading up to the hall, were built in the 1800s are not graded.

The owners have explored the possibility of converting the barns into holiday lets but this proved to be unviable.

Erwarton Hall was built by Sir Philip Calthorpe in the mid 16th century and renovated by Sir Philip Parker in 1572. His niece Anne Boleyn was a regular visitor and it is claimed she entertained King Henry VIII at the house.

It is understood a new application could be submitted if many of the outstanding issues can be resolved.

Full details can be found on the Babergh planning site under application: D/18/02062.

District Ward To Be Reshaped And Called Ganges

Tuesday, August 7, 08.00

Erwarton and Shotley parishes are to come under a newly formed Ganges ward in the Boundary Commission review of Babergh district wards.

The two villages are currently looked after by two district councillors as part of Berners ward, which also includes Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston.

However, the new ward boundaries will reform after the Boundary Commission released its final recommendations, which will go before Parliament when MPS return from the summer recess in September..

Newly named Ganges, Stour and Orwell wards will replace the bulk of the current two-member Berners and one member Holbrook wards and overlap into Belstead and Tattingstone. 

The Local Government Boundary Commission For England (LGBCE) had originally looked at making much of the peninsula a three-member ward, but representations by Holbrook councillor David Rose, supported by Shotley councillor Derek Davis and a couple of parish councils, pointed out that would be unworkable and the panel agreed.

Ganges, named after the former Royal Navy Training Establishment, will comprise of Shotley and Erwarton and be looked after by just one district councillor.

Boundary commissioners took into account of development at the former Ganges site, comprising of 285 new homes, a small hotel, residential care home, a café, retail units and a number of community facilities, which would add to the electorate.

Stour ward, named after the mouth of the river, will also be a one member ward and will now take in Harkstead, Holbrook and Stutton, making it slightly larger than the current ward.

On the other side of the peninsula Orwell ward, will also be a one-member ward but will include Belstead, Wherstead and Tattingstone along with Freston, Woolverstone and Chelmondison.

Brantham will become a one-member ward as expected growth will also boost the electorate there.

The division of those four wards means the same geographical area will lose one district councillor.

In total Babergh district council will reduce the number of councillors from the current 43 to 32, serving 24 wards, with the changes coming into effect at the next district council election in May 2019. 

In its report the Boundary Commission explained how it changed its original recommendation of forming  three member ward to three single member wards after representations were made.

Cllr Davis said: "As a former HMS Ganges boy I'm delighted that the Shotley and Erwarton area will become known as the Ganges ward. I'm delighted the commission took notice of our suggestions and have adopted the three different wards, rather than one huge ward., which I believe would have been unwieldy.

“It is a difficult balancing act in getting the allowed variance in electorate numbers marrying up with geographical areas to comprise the number of wards needed.

“However, while the Orwell ward seems a little stretched with Belstead a bit out on a limb.

“It makes sense for one member to serve the area, rather than three trying to cover everything from Shotley to Belstead, especially if some councilors do not necessarily pull their weight locally.”

Cllr Alastair McCraw, current Alton ward member, added: “The best bit about the new ward structure is that the Peninsula will have four single member wards.

"Brantham & Ganges are two large population centres. There are some compromises in the centre, because equal representation is very important. I like the names of Orwell & Stour.

"The parish groupings follow the roads connecting them and should have similar concerns because of it. But every parish will have one councillor to deal with and to help them."

A little further afield, Capel St Mary, which is subject to some large scale development will also become a one-member ward, while Copdock and Washbrook, will stretch from Bentley to Hintelsham, but new-look Sproughton and Pinewood ward will become a two-member ward.

The LGBCE was tasked to reduce district council members but ensure they improved electoral equality by equalising the number of electors each ward councilor represents. They had to take into account community identity and provide effective and community local government.

Further information can be found on their website

Five New Houses Could Be Built Next To Erwarton Hall 

Monday, June 4, 08.00

Five new homes will be built in the grounds next to the c16 Erwarton Hall if plans are approved by Babergh council. 

JRH Veenbaas, the owners of the farm next to Erwarton Hall, which is on the outskirts of the village and goes back to the early 1500s, has applied to convert disused farm buildings into large family homes.

The outline application states the L-shaped houses will become one three-bedroomed, and up to four four-bedroomed houses, with car parking spaces for 26 vehicles.

Although Erwarton Hall is a Grade 2* listed c16 building, the outbuildings, on the left hand side of the Gate House and drive leading up to the hall, were built in the 1800s are not graded.

The owners have explored the possibility of converting the barns into holiday lets but this proved to be unviable.

Erwarton Hall was built by Sir Philip Calthorpe in the mid 16th century and renovated by Sir Philip Parker in 1572. His niece Anne Boleyn was a regular visitor and it is claimed she entertained King Henry VIII at the house.

 Legend has it just before she was executed Queen Anne wrote that the best days of her life were spent in Erwarton and so her heart was buried in Erwarton.

In 1883 a velvet pouch with dust inside was discovered during renovation work at St Mary’s Church, Erwarton and is now buried below the church organ.

The Admiralty initially leased Erwarton Hall from the Berners family estate for the Commanding Officer and his family at HMS Ganges’ in 1905 until 1962, when it paid £11,000 for the red brick building, which is understood to have a tunnel linking the training establishment and the hall, although both ends were blocked off long ago.

The four-bedroomed hall and land was no longer used by the Royal Navy when Ganges closed in 1976 and is now in private use with the Veenabaases running a nearby stud farm on land near to the hall.

Comments regarding the application DC/18/02062 can be made until the June 21 deadline.

Financial Help During Cold Weather Snap

Monday, February 26, 12.15

Scores of families on the Shotley peninsula will be given an extra £25 a week after the Government triggered their Cold Weather  Payment for this area.

The payments, for people on certain benefits come into effect when average temperatures drop, or are forecast to drop, to zero degrees Celsius or below.

With the so-called Beast from the East moving in, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge today confirmed those payments will be paid, starting from February 23, initially for one week.

People in postcode area IP9 and CO11 are among those that will be paid, with payments made automatically with 14 days.

With Universal Credit being rolled out in this area shortly, others who will get the winter weather payment are those who are on pension credit, income support, income-based job-seekers allowance, and employment and support allowance

The winter weather allowance is different, and separate, to winter fuel allowance.

Nine New Homes Approved

Nine new houses are to be built in Erwarton after full planning permission was granted.

Three bungalows are due to be built in the land adjoining Church Farm, while, there would be a total of six two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes going up on land owned by farmer William Wrinch, next to Boleyn Place.

Objectors to the application insisted the amount of houses would be too many for Erwarton, the road was not suitable and the area overlooked the AONB.

The planning committee, at a meeting in Endeavour House, Ipswich, yesterday, decided the need for new housing, and benefit of these type of smaller houses outweighed any negative impact.

Boundary Review Results Delayed

Monday, February 12 - 06.00

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has delayed the publication of its final recommendations for the Babergh review.

The commission is currently examining the electorate data and forecasts, which underpin all the recommendations and is expected to be able to make a further announcement about the completion of both reviews following its next meeting on 20 February.

The Shotley peninsula currently has three wards, Alton, which covers Tattingstone, Stutton and Brantham with Independent Alastair McCraw and Harriet Steer, a Conservative, the district councillors. David Rose, an Independent, is councillor for Holbrook, Lower Holbrook and Harkstead, while another Independent councillor, Derek Davis covers Shotley, Erwarton, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston, along with Peter Patrick, a Conservative that lives in Polstead.

The new ward boundaries under review would see Shotley, Erwarton and Harkstead become a single member ward, while Bentley would join with Chelmondiston, Woolverstone and Freston but stay a two-member ward, while Holbrook would go in with the current Alton ward.

It was expected that the Boundary Commission review would have been completed now, but issues with Mid--Suffolk figures have set things back. The current administration of both councils want to dissolved Babergh and Mid-Suffolk and became one Heart of Suffolk council, although Conservative leader John Ward had promised a referendum would be held in Babergh, after  previous poll resulted in 61 per cent of resident that voted going against the proposal in 2011.

Spare Room For Single Lodgers Call

By Joe Harvey (Tuesday, February 6, 06.00 )

Householders on the Shotley Peninsula are being asked to use their spare bedroom to take in single lodgers.

Solo Housing have linked up with Babergh Distrct Council to try and help singeltons struggling to find suitable accommodation.

The scheme works by matching a suitable single person, referred by the district council or other agencies, with potential landlords on the penisula, that have been vetted by Solo Housing.

Solo Housing will ensure the landlords’ criteria and accommodation suit the scheme, and will also assess potential lodgers’  circumstances and needs.

It could be the landlords are looking for help with bills, or would like the security and company of another person in their home.

The single people tend to be those either homeless, or close to becoming homelss. They may be on low inclomes, or suffering a break up of a relationship.

Solo Housing chief executive Carolyn Howell said: ‘It’s a very simple and successful model, Solo provides practical help and advice to anyone who has a spare room in their house that they would like to rent out.

“At the same time, we will use our assessment criteria to match suitable people to available rooms, providing advice and support to single people who may like to take up a lodging offer.

“The service aims to provide a simple solution for those who would like to rent out a room, perhaps to help them pay their bills, or for companionship, and at the same time provides a housing solution for a single person who may not be able to access other suitable affordable accommodation on their own.”

One of the first landladies to sign up for the Solo Housing Lodging Scheme was a lady called Joan, who lives in the Babergh District.

She said: “As an elderly female, who lives independently, I didn’t want to be alone, especially at night, so taking in a lodger that met with my requirements was very helpful. 

“Solo met with the prospective lodger to make sure they were suitable for my circumstances and helped me with the paperwork.  It all seemed very thorough.

“I really appreciate the company and social interaction and my current lodger helps with small jobs around the home.”

Derek Davis, Babergh District Councillor for Shotley, Chelmondiston, Erwarton, Woolverstone and Freston, said: "This is a sensible, proven scheme that can have very positive benefts for both parties.

“I know there are probably many people with rooms available. It may be they are being charged the empty bedroom tax or they would just like the company. Either way, once matched it is a win-win.”

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ Homelessness Team took 227 homeless applications in 2016/17. 

In addition to this, they prevented homelessness in more than 450 cases and are hoping this scheme will help to settle more people at risk of becoming homeless into permanent accommodation.

If you have a room available, or a single person looking for suitable lodgings, contact 0800 652 0155.

Warning After Deer Collision

By Jenna Outhwaite

A fresh warning has been given to drivers on the peninsula after a man was left shocked when he hit and killed a deer while driving just outside Chelmondiston.

In the early hours of the evening, a deer jumped out from behind a bush at a fast pace into the front of the man’s car. 

The motorist, who has not been named, was driving within the speed limit but did not see the deer until it was too late. The accident gave the driver a nasty fright and he was left dazed for a short while, and his car suffered minor damage.

Passer by Hanna Keeble, who is familiar with wildlife handling, stopped and helped move the hind out of the road. Mercifully, the stricken hind (pictured right) died quickly after the collision.

There were no signs of any other deer near the road, which Miss Keeble found odd as usually where there is one, there is a high chance of a more deer following.

“Deer feed on arable land as well as woodland, and they travel regularly at dusk to find the best food,” warned Miss Keeble. “Sometimes a little less speed (from drivers) and a bit more awareness is needed.”  

Drivers are being asked to take precautions to minimise the risk of an accident by taking particular care during the early morning and early evening when wildlife is often at its most adventurous.

Long time peninsula residents have noticed the deer population, especially in and around Harkstead and Erwarton, is healthy and ever increasing.

Motorists are warned deer are not the only animals crossing roads, with pheasants, rabbits, badgers and foxes catching out drivers.  

Warning signs in affected areas are on display and drivers are urged to drive with caution and within the speed limit.

Hanna Keeble said: “With the increase in housing comes an increase of vehicles on the peninsula roads, so it stands to reason that collisions involving the local wildlife population could also increase.” 

Insurance experts estimate that between 40,000 and 75,000 deer are killed in collisions on UK roads every year, causing losses of £11 million in damage to vehicles.

Drivers are advised that hitting a deer, or any other animal, will only be covered by a comprehensive policy but they check it covers damage caused by collision with an animal.

Police In Early Morning Alert 

A number of police officers and a dog were called to check out a suspected burglary in Erwarton at around4am after suspicious neighbours raised the alarm. 

Police searched a couple of gardens and the roads round houses on the Street but nothing untoward was found.

Phone 999 for emergency calls, or 101 for less urgent incidents.

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