Housing plans could see village double in size


Cemex - Credit: Archant

A housing scheme that could see a village almost double in size have been revealed.

Building materials giant Cemex hopes to redevelop its factory at Barrington quarry into a housing development comprising 250-340 homes.

Though the plans are at an early stage, Cemex revealed their intentions to Barrington Parish Council at a meeting last week.

Cllr Aidan Van der Weyer, district councillor for Orwell and Barrington, said there is widespread opposition to the scheme.

He said: “What they are suggesting is quite problematic for the village, it would be a lot of houses at a location which isn’t well connected with the rest of Barrington. There’s only one bus that goes past there on an infrequent basis.

“When we’ve spoken to Cemex before, people in the village have been quite clear that they don’t want housing, but that’s obviously what they’ve decided to go for.

“We haven’t seen any plans yet, but they’re holding exhibitions in October so will probably have something to show then.”

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Cemex “mothballed” its plant in Barrington in November 2008, with 80 people losing their jobs, and the future of the site has been in doubt ever since. The closure marked the end of 80 years of industry on the site. An infill project is due to start this month which will see part of the quarry filled in using rubble from construction projects elsewhere in the country.

“There are about 400 houses in Barrington at the moment, so this would see the village nearly double in size,” said Cllr Van der Weyer.

“It would also put a serious strain on the local infrastructure. The village school is very small and wouldn’t be able to deal with a lot of new pupils.”

Ian Southcott, from Cemex, said: “Following the mothballing of the cement plant in 2008 and its decommissioning last year, CEMEX has been looking at the future use of the former cement factory site. Clearly doing nothing is not an option so both commercial and industrial development of the site have been investigated but they appear not to be viable. The company is therefore considering a residential development on the brownfield part of the site - the location of the current cement manufacturing buildings.

“Prior to any planning application being submitted, the company will be holding a public display of the proposals in the village on Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12 and details of this will be sent to all the residents of Barrington and the surrounding villages. The display will provide details of the proposals for the residential development but also seek the views of villagers on the type of recreation and amenity facilities that they would like to see on the site. In addition, the potential for renewable energy in the form of a solar farm will be presented.

“We appreciate that a meeting in the village in January was not in favour of housing. However, at that time, there were no firm proposals and the company was considering various development options. We would now like to discuss with the village these proposals and get their feedback.”