Fears factory revamp project could generate too many HGVs
PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 June 2020
Community leaders have voiced concerns that proposals to transform a huge redundant factory into a new multi-purpose business complex could lead to large numbers of heavy goods lorries going past homes.
Felixstowe Town Council has recommended refusal of the project despite the developers saying it could create hundreds of new jobs.
East Suffolk Council’s economic development team has expressed its support for the scheme for the building in Carr Road.
Paul Wood, head of service, economic development and regeneration, said it would mean “significant investment in a 30 year old factory premises”, creating eight new industrial, warehouse and trade counter units; 12 new offices and a sandwich bar/café for tenants.
He said: “The view of the economic development team is that the diverse offer of new, high quality business premises would regenerate the site, provide accommodation for new and existing businesses that is close to major transport links and will create employment for the residents of Felixstowe.”
Town councillors though feel introducing storage uses in the area would be against policy and want to know the number of HGVs visiting daily to clarify the impact on residents.
The 60,956 sq ft steel framed building – which stands on a 6.53-acre site – was previously home to technology company Itron, which has relocated to the nearby Haven Exchange business park. The former factory was recently up fo sale for £3million.
Peter Colby Commercials Group has now applied to carry out the conversion.
Planning consultants Pomery, agents on behalf of the applicants, said: “The development will create a business enterprise centre, to be known as The Languard Point Enterprise Centre, designed to function in a campus-style of operation.
“Built as a bespoke factory for making meters, the design, layout and scale of the accommodation would be unsuitable for most single business users.
“Some seven months of marketing has not produced a manufacturing business willing to take the building on. The applicant intends to break the factory building up to create a range of smaller business
units in different sizes and types of use to attract new and existing business to the area. It is anticipated that the site will attract many new jobs.”
A report to East Suffolk Council says the applicant – now owners of the complex – has already carried out some initial marketing of the concept and this has resulted in a number of businesses expressing an interest in the units available at the site.
The factory, which stands next to the River of Life Church, was built in 1989 for Itron and its manufacture of domestic gas and electricity meters.