Great Cornard: Concerns raised over Guilford Europe factory site safety after blaze

The former Guilford site in Radiator Road, Cornard which is set for development.

The former Guilford site in Radiator Road, Cornard which is set for development. - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the safety of a disused factory in Great Cornard following a fire at the site.

Firefighters dealt with a blaze at the former Guilford Europe site (pictured) in Radiator Road last Friday.

Although no one was injured, the fire is believed to have been started by trespassers and the incident has highlighted fears about the security of the building.

Babergh District Council recently granted approval for up to 110 new homes to be built on the plot, which has been empty since March 2011.

The council estimated it will cost site owners, ERLP 2 Ltd, around £400,000 to demolish the buildings and another £515,000 to address contamination and pollution on the site.

Great Cornard district councillor, Tony Bavington, said: “I have been disturbed by the state of the site since we carried out a site inspection, as it seems to require the attention of a police helicopter most weekends.

“The site is a former textiles factory and may well be contaminated with dye residues. If a fire were to take hold, we might have a major critical incident requiring evacuation of properties in the vicinity.

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“It is vital that every possible step is taken to minimise the chances of another fire.”

Babergh and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service officers carried out a full inspection of the site following the blaze and they believe “serious efforts” are needed to tighten security and prevent trespassing.

The council has contacted ERLP 2 Ltd and its Colchester-based security firm MSG Group, with an outline of necessary work. A spokesman for MSG Group told the EADT he was meeting with environmental protection officers this week to discuss the issue. Members of the public who witness suspicious activity at the site are encouraged to inform Suffolk Police on 101.