Tiptree: £25million jam factory plans move forward

The Tiptree jam factory

The Tiptree jam factory - Credit: Archant

LONG-awaited plans to build a state-of-the-art jam factory and almost 250 homes in Tiptree are one step closer to fruition.

Four applications submitted by Wilkin & Sons have been formally recommended for approval by officers at Colchester Borough Council.

The news comes after five years of planning when the company announced it needed to modernise and expand its facilities due to increasing demand.

The £25million development includes plans for a new 13,000sqm factory, 244 homes, a new roundabout, 4.5 hectares of open space, allotments and cycle paths.

If approved the project will secure 300 jobs and potentially create 500 more.

Initially there were fears the company would have to relocate if it could not win approval for the construction of the homes, which will off-set the cost of the new factory.

Wilkin & Sons and Colchester Borough Council’s planning chief say there has been strong support for the application and the development was planned in the context of new Government policy.

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In total 14 objections were raised over a buffer zone between existing and proposed properties but this has now been amended.

Other concerns related to light and noise pollution, traffic congestion and impacts to the natural landscape.

The applications also include plans for a dentist surgery and a sewage treatment plan.

Among the 244 houses and flats proposed, 16 will be sold as affordable homes.

Ian Thurgood, joint managing director at Wilkin & Sons Ltd, said: “Acceptance of the plans at this final stage will ensure our commitment to developing our business in Tiptree for the foreseeable future.

“It’s been five years of careful thought and planning but we’re used to that. This is a business which owes its existence to forethought.

“Without the support of the village, we could not have reached this stage. It’s up to us now to make sure we live up to expectations.

“Intense local scrutiny of our plans has without doubt produced a solution that allows us to remain in Tiptree, if our local councillors agree.”

Tim Young, portfolio holder for planning at Colchester Borough Council said: “This application is absolutely vital in terms of our Local Plan and Tiptree.

“We’re delighted to be working with Wilkin & Sons and that the company is staying where it is. It would have been a disaster if they moved.

“It’s a good development which will have wider benefits for the community and I think generally most people are for it.”

Work on the new factory could begin later this year.