Arson attack on derelict factory

Concerns about safety and security at a former factory site in Great Cornard have been raised following a suspected arson.

Firefighters were called to Guilford Europe in Radiator Road at around 6pm on Friday after a fire was started.

Crews found evidence that trespassers had accessed the derelict site and had deliberately started the blaze.

On Monday, officers from Babergh District Council inspected the site, which was granted outline planning permission for 110 new houses in May and is owned by ERLP 2 Ltd.

They discovered that site security had deteriorated sharply since a visit in April and anyone could easily walk on to the site.

Tony Bavington, district councillor for Great Cornard, said he feared more arson attacks.

“I was disturbed by the state of the site since the last inspection, as it seems to require the attention of a police helicopter most weekends,” he said.

“The site is a former textiles factory and may well be contaminated with dye residues. If a fire were to take hold, we may have a major incident requiring the evacuation of properties in the immediate vicinity and perhaps further afield.”

Appropriate methods of securing the site have been passed to the site owners in a bid to prevent further incidents. If the work is not carried out, the council will issue an enforcement notice to ensure it is made safe.

“It is absolutely vital that every possible step is taken to minimise the chances of another fire,” said Mr Bavington.