Demolition of listed buildings ‘will make way for future’

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The demolition of listed buildings in the town centre has been defended after a 
councillor expressed her concerns about vanishing history in the town.

The demolition of factory buildings in the Chauntry Mills complex in Haverhill was approved at St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The buildings which are slated for demolition are former factory buildings which developers say should be demolished to improve access to the iconic French-Gothic buildings, which would remain.

Councillor Maureen Byrne was disappointed with the decision, saying Haverhill was losing its history bit by bit.

“I understand why they would want the sheds demolished,” she said. “These ones, though, I genuinely believe are of historic interest to the town.

“Instead of demolishing it, I’d hoped it could be used as part of the refurbishment of the site as a retail unit or even accommodation. It’s a shame. It’s yet another thing the town is going to lose.

“Buildings like this are few and far between. In other parts of the country, they have saved them and have turned them into facilities for the community to use.”

Sarah Howard, chairman of One Haverhill, however, hailed the potential of the site which could, under the town centre masterplan, become a community hub with shops, cafes and a ‘21st century market place’. Developers have already highlighted the demolition of the light shed buildings as key to improving access to the site.

Mrs Howard said: “It’s a shame to lose the heritage, but, by losing that, we can preserve the rest.

“It is really important to keep the main buildings in use and, by giving developers the opportunity to look at the site, we can move forward with the buildings. We lose history so that we can move on with the new.”