No flood risk at factory site, says developer

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A developer behind plans to build on a former factory site claims there is no risk of flooding, despite claims to the contrary.

Redding Park Development has drawn up plans for 100 units, including homes, workshops and a restaurant or pub, at Stafford Park in Liston, near Long Melford.

There are a number of industrial buildings on the site, in Glemsford Road, which was previously used as a flavourings plant by Bush Boake Allen Ltd and closed in 2003 after being sold to International Flavours and Fragrances.

Gordon Macpherson, managing director of the Edinburgh-based developer, said the majority of the buildings would be demolished.

“Two of the better buildings may be retained, but most are past their shelf life,” he said.

“We want to replace them with something that will meet people’s needs and will effectively reformat the whole site.”

Mr Macpherson said the firm’s plans had reached a consultation phase. Two open days inviting residents to view the proposals – the latest of which took place on Saturday – had been held.

He said the day had been “extraordinarily successful” with around 100 people attending. But there are some residents, from the village of 53 homes, who oppose the redevelopment.

Allan Binks, chairman of the Liston Residents’ Association, said part of the site was a severe flood risk, while more homes would increase traffic and congestion on the narrow country roads.

“The majority of residents are strongly opposed to a housing development on the site,” said Mr Binks.

“This is a quiet, rural area and the proposed development would effectively mean a new village being built and open the door to further development in the future.”

He said Braintree District Council had said the site was unsuitable for residential development and flooding at the weekend, which resulted in a bus taking people to the site being re-routed, demonstrated the problem.

“It is not the responsible thing to do,” said Mr Binks.

“It should not, and cannot, be allowed to happen.”

Mr Macpherson said he would not entertain development if flooding was a risk, adding that the company would listen to the views of the community and was looking to submit a planning application in the near future.