Boxford factory praised for openness on expansion plans

Praise: Bryn Hurren
Praise: Bryn Hurren

A planning application seeking to expand a drinks factory in Boxford look likely to come before planning committee councillors in November.

Konings, the Belgian-owned drinks firm in Stoke Road, wants to increase its current 5.5-acre operations to cover 19 acres, securing its future and creating 116 new jobs in the process.

A site visit to the factory by Babergh District Council’s planners and committee members took place last week.

The plans include new bottling and canning facilities to produce around 200 million cans of cider a year.

Boxford district councillor Bryn Hurren said the planning application is not likely to be heard until November 8 or 22.

He said: “I think the applicant has chosen to take into account some of the things suggested during the course of the consultation.

“I have to say that the factory has been totally open during its consultation with organisations and residents.

“I wish all applicants were as open to suggestions and discussions as this applicant has been.”

Meanwhile, former MP Paul Stinchcombe QC, of Stoke Road, has called for the application to be refused.

He said: “It is plainly in breach of local planning policy, national planning policy and the land use management policies specifically applicable to the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty.”

Chairman of the The Dedham Vale Society, Charles Clover said: “Konings’ board needs to do its research and listen up: this plant should go on an industrial estate in a major town, not in the Dedham Vale.”