Deteriorating former factory site to be replaced by 110 new homes

A STEP CLOSER: John Sayers at the former Guilford Europe factory site, where 110 homes are planned.
A STEP CLOSER: John Sayers at the former Guilford Europe factory site, where 110 homes are planned.

More than 100 homes are expected to be built on a derelict factory site in Great Cornard in a multi-million pound development.

Outline planning permission to create 110 houses – 15 per cent of which will be affordable – on the former Guilford Europe factory site in Radiator Road was approved yesterday.

Applicant ERLP 2 Ltd, a company that buys and sells retail estate, plans to demolish the 14,000 square feet of buildings on the land and build a mix of one to four-bedroom properties.

Case officer Christine Thurlow told members of Babergh District Council’s development committee that the site required “substantial investment”.

“There is likely to be extensive contamination due to the use of the textile factory and abnormal development costs involved,” she said.

Mrs Thurlow said the demolition alone would cost £400,000 and dealing with the contamination £515,000.

“The site is crying out for redevelopment given its deteriorating nature and the final design, although illustrative, looks entirely acceptable,” she said.

The site, which has been vacant since March 2011, was marketed for a year in an attempt to find developers willing to take it on for industrial use but, out of 31 inquiries, the majority were seeking housing.

Mark Rose, of ERLP 2 Ltd, said: “A residential development is appropriate and future residents would have access to a wide range of facilities and transport links.”

Great Cornard councillor John Sayers had previously raised concerns about access and, although this issue was voiced, members were told the main route in would be via Bures Road and a barrier would be used in Philips Field Road to discourage traffic.

Committee chairman Peter Beer said he was disappointed the village’s parish council was not represented at the meeting but residents had accepted a housing development would be built on the site.

“This is the best we are going to get out of it,” he said.

Members voted ten to one in favour of the plans, with Mr Beer the sole councillor objecting.

As part of the plans, five hectares of land will be transferred to Sudbury Common Lands Trust to manage and a 1,600 square metre area of open space created.