Former silk mill set to become housing

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Plans to partially demolish a former silk mill in Glemsford and build 10 new homes have been backed by the district council’s planning committee.

Planning permission for the former factory in Chequers Lane was granted unanimously, despite objections by residents.

Addressing Babergh District Council’s planning committee yesterday, David French gave objections on behalf of the Chequers Lane residents.

“We have never been against residential use of the site since it was first proposed nearly two years ago,” he said.

But Mr French said the proposal to increase the number of vehicles accessing the lane from the current number of eight would cause safety problems for pedestrians and drivers.

The revised application proposes to retain the historic mill and office buildings, which will converted into two housing units.

The redundant buildings will be demolished and replaced with 10 homes.

Despite the objections by residents, the highways department backed the proposal, stating that the proposed residential development would be less intensive at peak times than the already authorised light industrial use.

Julius Walters, of applicant Stephen Walters and Sons Ltd, which operates textile manufacturing in the area, said the company moved to a new location in Sudbury when the mill was damaged by fire in 2007.

After a marketing campaign, the site has proved to be unviable for business use.

Rex Thake, district councillor for Glemsford, said the committee would struggle to vote against the recommendation in this case.

He added: “Unfortunately, I have got no other way out other than to recommend the proposal, though I am very reluctant to do so.”