£60m transformation of Keynsham's former chocolate factory buildings to get under way

Published on: 10 Jun 2015

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Work on a £60 million project to transform Keynsham’s former chocolate factory buildings is due to begin next month.

MF Freeman Group is behind plans that will see one of of the three factory blocks, block B, become a 135-bed care home while a second, block C, will provide employment space. The third, block A, will house up to 113 apartments.

The developer is also currently working on plans to incorporate a new doctors’ surgery within block B.

Luke Freeman, joint chief executive of M F Freeman Group, said: “We are delighted to have secured consent for the redevelopment of the former Cadbury factory at Keynsham.  The scheme will be redeveloped into a £60million mixed-use scheme, which will comprise of offices, housing for the elderly and open-market residential. 

“We are really looking forward to seeing the iconic landmark buildings being brought back into beneficial use, which will complement the wider redevelopment of the site by Taylor Wimpey. 

“Work on site should commence by July of this year and the first activity to take place will be the partial demolition and making good of blocks B and C.

“We are pleased with the strong interest we have received for the development, including progressing plans for a doctors’ surgery in block C. We are currently working up our plans for this doctors’ surgery and we hope to submit an application shortly. 

“This exciting redevelopment will bring back employment to the local area and add further support to the town centre, which is already vibrant as a result of the recent redevelopment.  The office block and housing for the elderly will provide jobs for a forecasted 1,000 people. 

“In summary this is great news for Keynsham and the wider Somerdale development.” 

Meanwhile, developer Taylor Wimpey has submitted a reserved matters application for Phase 2 of the Somerdale site, which will include 239 homes, a building to accommodate shops or a medical centre, public spaces called Fry Club Square, Somerdale Green and Avon View Green and a riverside path.

Phase 2 surrounds the factory buildings and adjoins the new Fry Club. The proposals already have outline planning permission but now the developer must get approval for its detailed plans.

The consultation period runs until June 11 and planners aim to make a decision in August.

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