Proposal for 122 new homes on Stafford Park factory site in Liston

Liston could be about to grow

Liston could be about to grow - Credit: Gregg Brown

Plans for a development that would more than quadruple the size of a tiny village on the Suffolk/Essex border have been submitted to the district council.

Former factory site in Liston

Former factory site in Liston - Credit: Archant

The scheme, at a former industrial site known as Stafford Park, in Liston, near Long Melford, would see more than 120 new homes built in the hamlet, which currently has only 28 houses.

Some of the existing buildings at the site, which was once home to the Bush Boake Allen Ltd flavourings plant, would be converted into 22 apartments and up to 100 new houses would be built.

An outline planning application has been submitted to both Babergh and Braintree district councils. The proposal also includes the demolition of the other existing buildings, associated works to remediate the land on the application site, flood attenuation measures, reinstatement of the River Stour to include the removal of the sluice gate, infrastructure improvements, landscaping and provision of public open space.

The plans have already divided the local community and were at the heart of a decision by Liston residents to ‘divorce’ themselves from the neighbouring parish of Foxearth. The two share a parish council but out of the 250 electors in the parish, only 43 of them are from Liston.

Last August, prompted by the proposal to develop the former industrial site, the Liston Residents’ Association announced its intention to dissolve a “Grouping Order” joining the two parishes.

At the time, the group’s chairman, Alan Binks, issued a statement saying the decision to go for independence followed growing concerns regarding the breakdown of trust between the villagers of Liston and some members of the parish council who were felt to be “promoting” the Stafford Park development.

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Following the recent application for outline planning consent, Mr Binks said in a letter that the development could “change the nature of Liston and the surrounding villages”. He also claimed it would dramatically increase traffic along narrow lanes surrounding the village and have a “catastrophic” effect on wildlife.

Other concerns raised by objectors to the proposal include possible contamination of the area and the adjacent River Stour with by-products from the former factory – and risk of flooding.