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‘Disappointment’ over suspension of Wilkin & Sons’ Tiptree jam factory plans

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 17 September 2015

Wilkin & Sons' jam.  Picture: James Fletcher

Wilkin & Sons' jam. Picture: James Fletcher

Parish councillors have said they are disappointed plans for a new factory and housing in Tiptree have been suspended.

Outline of the new factory proposed for TiptreeOutline of the new factory proposed for Tiptree

Wilkin & Sons jam makers, who supply preserves to the Royal Family, presented proposals in 2011 for a new two-phase factory in the village, to be funded by building 244 homes on its land.

The £25million scheme was given planning permission in April 2013.

However the firm announced on Friday it was putting the plans, which included moving its operations from Witham and Earls Colne to the 13,000sgm factory site in Tiptree, on ice as the first phase would no longer be big enough to accommodate the company’s growth.

The company is considering bringing in both phases together but has expressed unwillingness to take on the “significantly higher” level of borrowing needed to pay for such a move.

Aerial view of Tiptree jam factory. Photo: ContributedAerial view of Tiptree jam factory. Photo: Contributed

Its decision to abandon the plans has now been confirmed.

Tiptree Parish Council discussed the announcement at a meeting on Monday evening.

In a statement the council said: “The council is disappointed that the Wilkin & Sons’ new factory development will no longer be proceeding as originally planned.

“The council worked very hard with the village and Wilkin & Sons to produce a solution that would provide the best results for all concerned.

“The council has always been conscious of the provision of jobs for the villagers. The development of the new factory was seen as a way to help satisfy this need.

“At this time the council has limited information on how future work on the site will progress.

“However it is intended to set up an early meeting between the parish council and Wilkin & Sons.”

Road improvements already begun as part of the plans will be completed.

Priti Patel, MP for the village, added: “Wilkin and Sons are a fantastic local business and the commitment they have to Tiptree and the jobs they create is incredibly welcome.

“Clearly the decision that has been taken in relation to the new factory has been a difficult one.

“However, the success they are experiencing means that it is very sensible for them to rethink their plans.

“We await with interest the future proposals for the factory and wish them continuing success.”

Wilkin & Sons said it was looking to make a decision in the next week, and whatever happened the existing operation in Tiptree would remain with investment in the current factory.

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