Alternative uses for listed buildings in the town centre have not been properly looked into according to a town councillor.
A decision on whether or not to demolish a series of old factory buildings in Haverhill’s Chauntry Mills was deferred at a meeting of the St Edmundsbury Borough Council development control committee on March 5.
The decision will be deferred until the town masterplan has been completed in September.
It is understood that the committee, which would give the go ahead to demolish the buildings of lesser architectural significance on the site, is waiting until September to make a decision on building eight on the site, known as the northern light building.
“It’s of particular significance,” said Councillor Maureen Byrne. “It was designed with a special glass roof that shone light down on the workers below.
“I don’t think they’ve looked properly into alternative uses for the building. It could be a lovely distinctive retail unit or it could be used for housing.” It had been hoped that the demolition of some of the less significant buildings on the site would allow the remaining French Gothic buildings to be shown off to their best advantage and create space that could potentially be used for retail or domestic developments.
“I asked the planning committee neither to approve or vote against demolition,” said Cllr Byrne. “I asked them to defer the decision until we could see it in the context of the masterplan.
“They want to keep as much heritage as possible in the town centre.
“In the mean time, we would expect the consultants and Gurteen’s to look at the other possibilities for the building. There has to be a common sense approach.”
A feasibility study on uses for the building is ongoing.