Greenbank resident Flowerdahlia has posted a load of photos to Flickr of the empty Packer’s Chocolate Factory. The factory was shut last last year by owners Elizabeth Shaw when they moved the last of their manufacturing operation overseas.
The building, which has iconic status in Easton as a genuine remnant of its disappearing industrial working class past, is currently set to be demolished by house builders Persimmon. They want to replace the factory with one of those annoying suburban-style new build estates.
This has pissed off quite a lot of the local community who have campaigned against the Persimmon plans and are trying to save the factory from demolition. The prognosis is not that good however. English Heritage have declined to list the building and a planning appeal from Persimmon will be heard quite soon that they may well win.
I’m no architectural expert but the building looks to me like a fine piece of late Victorian industrial architecture that could be converted into something quite impressive. Local architect George Ferguson has even expressed an interest in the place. He’s recently been working on Paintworks on the Bath road, itself a quite impressive conversion of a disused paint factory.