‘Dangerous’ empty factory in Essex conservation area is set for redevelopment


A disused factory surrounded by Grade II listed properties in Coggeshall has been slated for redevelopment after engineers discovered one of the buildings was due for demolition.

Following a site visit earlier this month, Medici Associates said it “strongly recommends” that construction of a building at the former Hollington Brothers factory in Church Street be completely demolished and rebuilt to Comply with applicable design standards and building regulations.

The Hollingtons Trust does not consider that rebuilding the factory building, which is based in a conservation area, in the absence of viable commercial use would be viable or in fact appropriate and said it would aim “to redevelop whole site”.

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A report to Braintree District Council says the buildings are unlisted but are likely to qualify as undesignated heritage properties, which are located within the Coggeshall Conservation Area – many Church Street houses are Listed II and date from the medieval period.

The building complex is not considered to be of architectural interest or importance. However, the complex would be of historical interest as part of Coggeshall’s social and industrial heritage, which would be tantamount to their significance, a report adds.

The first building is one of three adjoining buildings which were once a row of old cottages but were converted into a factory and warehouse in the early 1900s for the production of clothing – including army uniforms and railways – when Hollington Brothers left London.

Hollington’s closed in 2013 and has stood empty ever since. More recently, concerns have been raised about the condition of the buildings, in particular the danger posed by roof slates thrown about by high winds.

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But being in a designated conservation area, a planning permit is required for the partial or total demolition of buildings.

A statement to council said: “Therefore, before the building can be demolished as recommended, planning consent for such demolition is required.

“In this situation, demolition is urgently required and recommended for safety reasons, so the urgency and need for approval was discussed with planning officers prior to submission of this request. advice received was that an application for planning permission for the demolition should be made in the first instance, therefore the application was duly made.

The report adds: ‘The Hollingtons Trust does not consider it would be viable or in fact appropriate to rebuild the factory building in the absence of viable commercial use and would aim to redevelop the whole site.

“Of the three beaches on the site, it is recommended that Building 1 be demolished for public safety reasons, as detailed in the structure report.”


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