Homes scheme gets a resounding ‘no’

NEW homes and flats on a former factory site in Lavenham have got the thumbs down from parish councillors who have recommended refusal of the proposed housing estate to Babergh District Council.

More than 30 residents put their comments and objections to the parish council on Thursday night after it called a special meeting to make a decision about 45 new homes on the former Amorex factory site in the village.

Parish council chairman Roy Whitworth said: “We felt that the application was lacking a lot of detail, and there are various issues which have yet to be resolved, such as density of the development, the height of some of the buildings and the lack of information regarding the amount of affordable housing.

“We are also worried about the extra traffic created. If the land is contaminated, there will be lots of lorries carrying soil away from the site and through the village, and that is something that needs to be thought about.”

Mr Whitworth said the parish council, and the majority of residents, were supportive of site being developed for housing and liked what architects were proposing for it.

He added: “But there was a general concern about the density of the site, and about there being too many houses. It’s a very important site because it is at the entrance to Lavenham, and needs to look right.”

He said 12 flats in two, three-storey blocks were proposed with a mixture of two, three and four-bedroomed houses planned, as well as recreational open space.

In its heyday, the former Amorex factory made specialist products for the cement industry. It ceased production seven years ago, since when it has been left empty. Before that it was E.R. Holloway cosmetics factory, which employed more than 100 people, and the land was also used as a railway yard.

The 1.48-hectare site was originally ruled out for housing by the district council because of its continued employment use. But, because there had been no success in finding a buyer to take it on as a factory, the proposal includes a change of use to housing.

Last year the factory and buildings were flattened to make way for housing by new owners Knight Developments from Kelvedon in Essex.

The site, to the north of the village, is bordered by Bury Road, Frogs Hall Road and Preston Road.

The proposal will now come before Babergh District Council’s development committee with the number of proposed affordable homes yet to be determined by the developer.