Developer unveils plan for disused factory site

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PLANS to develop a redundant factory site into houses, a public car park and a town square have been revealed.

The former Unilever manufacturing site in Needham Market is to be transformed into a new hub of housing and facilities for the town after standing vacant for five years.

The applicant, Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, hopes to demolish the commercial buildings and redevelop the site to include 94 homes, public and private car parking and a town square with public open space and a children’s play area.

The proposals detail a mix of apartments and terrace houses with one, two and three bedrooms, including affordable housing.

The site, in High Street, currently houses a manufacturing facility, storage warehouses, offices, an electricity substation, staff accommodation and a grade II listed building called The Crofts, and The Maltings. The factory has been disused since Unilever relocated in 2006.

The application includes plans to convert The Crofts into apartments and The Maltings into retail units.

Amenity open space with a town square will be created at the heart of the development with a local area of play (LAP). There will also be an opportunity for public art to be displayed.

The existing public car park will be retained, providing 22 spaces.

Pedestrian pathways will link the new development to the railway station, and to playing fields and Needham Lake.

Developers aim to make it an ‘attractive enduring place’ and a statement submitted with the application said that they wish to ‘create a new integrated residential and commercial scheme that has a positive relationship with Needham Market’.

The planning application has been submitted to planning officers at Mid Suffolk District Council for consideration.