Developer unveils care home and flats plan for Keynsham's former chocolate factory

Published on: 04 Dec 2014

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A developer has unveiled plans to transform Keynsham’s 1920s chocolate factory buildings into apartments, a care home and offices.

The public were invited to take a closer look at the proposals drawn up by MF Freeman, which the company hopes will be submitted to the council before Christmas.
House builder Taylor Wimpey intially applied for permission to create 113 apartments inside Block A, but as part of MF Freeman’s scheme the building would accommodate 95 apartments, including some affordable housing.

The 105-bed care home would be built within Block B, creating 135 full-time jobs. This would replace existing plans for a 60-bed care home within the housing development. Taylor Wimpey plans to build 30 homes in its place.

Block C would become employment space, which MF Freeman says will offer 960 jobs and has already attracted interest from potential occupiers.

The site would also include 396 parking spaces, with allocated parking for the apartments, while the developer also proposes to demolish one third of Block B and C instead of half of each as originally planned. Residents are now being invited to comment on the plans  as the company prepares to submit proposals to B&NES planning chiefs. The company hopes to be able to start building work on all three blocks in spring, completing the care home by September 2016.

Luke Freeman, joint managing director of MF Freeman, said the company was looking forward to working on such a well-known site.

He said: “Block A’s open market housing has a particularly nice outlook and it’s the best location for that. We see Blocks B and C as iconic buildings relating to the history and heritage of Keynsham and we want to preserve as much as possible, creating the same amount of jobs, focusing on the creative sector. Employment would be in one place rather than split into two buildings as in the previous scheme, which is more beneficial.

“Housing for the elderly is much needed in the area and this will be centrally located within the site, which is a better position.”

For more information on the plan, visit thechocolatefactory keynsham.co.uk.

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