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Wren applies to build village on Barton site

Plans have been revealed to build 300 new homes to accompany the expansion of the Wren Living factory off Falkland Way in Scunthrope.

The company already has planning permission to expand on the old Kimberly Clark factory site, including building a new access road.

And now it is looking to build homes for employees as they continue to grow the business in the area.

There are also plans to build a 50-room hotel and lodges for fishermen.

The project has been likened to Bournville in Birmingham, when Cadbury built a village in the 1890s for its workers.

Consultants for Wren Living held an information session for the Barton Town Council planning committee and plan to submit the plans to North Lincolnshire Council in the next week.

Clive Brook, a director at Johnson Brook Consultants, said Wren plans to create more than 300 jobs over 12 months and eventually wants to employ 600 people in Barton within five years after expanding distribution and bringing manufacturing back from the Far East.

It hopes the development will provide homes for their workers.

He said: "Wren is expanding rapidly. It's a long time since I've seen a company expand this quickly and it wants to make best use of the land.

"The plan is for 300 dwellings and a 50-bed hotel. Wren has a big training programme at the moment so the hotel will be used for people attending the training programme.

"Fifty of the houses will be held in a rental portfolio by Wren and will be rented to employees.

"We've not seen the likes of this since Cadbury did their specified village.

"There will also be pedestrian and cycle routes into the town and a small convenience store."

Some councillors raised concerns about the impact on the roads in the area, but were told it will be minimal because people who live in the houses will be working at Wren, so will not be using cars to go to and from work.

"It would have a positive impact on the town because people will spend money in the town centre," Mr Brook said.

He estimated the development would take seven years to build.

Councillor Ann Clark said: "This has got to have an effect on the town. What worries me is our doctors and dentists are suffering and the amount of school places.

"All these people will put extra pressure on the services."

Councillor Annabel McCourt asked about Wren's corporate social responsibility.

She said: "We've had developers before who have promised children's playgrounds and we're still chasing them after the development has been built. Can you incorporate playgrounds into the plan?"

She was assured Wren took its social and environmental responsibilities seriously and will not just be developing the site and leaving.

Councillor Jon Evison asked for guarantees that the new homes would fit in with Barton.

A public consultation will be held in the next few weeks.

Source : Scunthorpe Telegraph

03 December 2014

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