QUESTIONS have been raised over the future of an “eyesore” factory which is set to be demolished after the site became plagued by fly-tipped rubbish.

Members of Colchester Council’s planning committee gave proposals to demolish the former Gamet Bearings factory, in Hythe Station Road, Colchester, to make way for 65 flats the green light in October last year.

But now, more than five months on, the future of the site has been questioned after a supposed lack of action which has caused antisocial behaviour.

“It has got really bad,” a nearby resident who didn’t want to be named said. “People have fly-tipped stuff and broken down hoardings.”

Gazette: The site has been branded an 'eyesore'The site has been branded an 'eyesore' (Image: Newsquest)

Councillors voted unanimously for the demolition of the factory, which is set to be replaced by 65 apartments, two commercial units, and underground parking.

Greenstead councillor Tim Young told the Gazette he has not noticed any changes to the site on his travels around the area.

“As a ward councillor, I want to know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s getting worse and worse, it’s an eyesore, and they’ve got planning permission so hopefully they can get on with it.”

When complete, the project will feature three four- and five-storey blocks which will be joined by a podium level.

Gazette: Rubbish has been fly-tipped at the siteRubbish has been fly-tipped at the site (Image: Newsquest)

More than 70 parking spaces, including some with electric vehicle charging capabilities, will also be installed at the site which sits between the Hythe train station and the Tesco supermarket in Greenstead Road.

At a council meeting in October, Robert Pomery, the planning consultant behind the blueprints, told councillors the redevelopment bid was first made in February 2020 and a “collaborative process” has seen many changes made to the proposals.

The site has been abandoned since 2019, when Gamet Bearings was sold to rival firm HB Bearings who then wound up the factory.

In April 2021, it was found to have been transformed into a £2million cannabis farm.

More recently, Essex Police confirmed people had been living inside the derelict building after police officers found bedding and other personal items during searches of the site.

Firefighters completed a fire risk assessment after the building went up in flames in January last year.