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Former Fisons site

Although the Councils do not own this site, we remain committed to achieving a satisfactory outcome for the community. We are working to support possible options for its future.

In the meantime, we appreciate concerns raised by local residents about the site. This webpage aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Any further queries about the site can be submitted by emailing our Communities team.

We will respond to your queries directly. We will also update this webpage with answers to common queries and the latest developments.

What happened to the site?

In May 2019, fire crews were called to the Grade II-listed former Fisons warehouse on Paper Mill Lane in Bramford.

Over 60 firefighters from Suffolk and Essex attended the scene but sadly the building - which dates back to 1858 - was destroyed by the blaze.

Is the site secure?

Shortly after the fire, our Building Control team issued a Counter Notice to the landowner under Section 81 of the Building Act 1984.

The notice outlined the need to obtain planning and listed building consent before any demolition work was carried out, and to maintain security at the site.

Following reports received by the Council’s building control team in April 2020, repairs were made to the perimeter fencing and gates by the landowner to improve site security. Further repairs to the fencing were made in November 2021.

Three reports of trespassing were submitted to the police during the past year, who carried out site visits to investigate further.

Site visits are still conducted by the Councils when required. Any breaches are identified and reported to the landowner to ensure they are repaired as quickly as possible.

Our Building Control team continue to respond to issues as they arise and we liaise with the owners as needed. We are ready to support the owners with any future plans for the site.

What is being done about fly-tipping on site?

There have been fewer reports of fly-tipping on the former factory site itself since the fire.

During the past year, four reports of small scale fly-tipping around the boundary of the site, on Paper Mill Lane, were resolved by our Environmental Protection team.

Anyone witnessing fly-tipping at the site should call 999 if the incident is still in progress, or report it to us so we can investigate further.

Has the site got planning permission?

There is no planning permission for development of the site. The landowner has contacted Mid Suffolk District Council for pre-application advice. However, this stage of the process is confidential, and we cannot disclose any details.

When will work resume on site?

Demolition work has already started on the site’s listed buildings. Works were carried out to secure the fire damaged structure and eliminate the risk of potential collapse.

Before further demolition work can occur on these listed buildings, there are conditions attached to the planning consent which must be discharged.

Under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (as amended), no time limit is attached to consent. This means we cannot specify when the works should take place.

The pandemic has slowed progress on site, and a timetable for works to resume on site is yet to be confirmed. However, positive discussions about the site's future use continue to take place between our planning team and the landowner.

What is Mid Suffolk District Council going to do?

Derelict buildings remain the responsibility of the landowner. However, we continue to engage with the site owner to see how we can best support future options for the site. In similar cases, this has included helping to fund site option studies to explore future opportunities and uses.

There are other enforcement steps that can be taken, including potential legal action that includes - but is not limited to:

  • the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
  • the Building Act 1984

However, we must be sure that any legal action is necessary, expedient and in the public interest. This is given the significant cost to the taxpayer, and the likelihood of success. It is, of course, preferable for us to work with landowners to progress sites wherever possible.

How will the site’s history be protected?

Mid Suffolk District Council has continued to take steps to ensure that local heritage is still preserved. As part of this, the landowner has to carry out further photographic recording of the site - to be added to the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service Archive.

We have also requested that the landowner provides a programme of works. This is in addition to their steps to review and salvage appropriate materials, for reuse in any future development at the site.

 

Page last updated Monday 4 April 2022