Usually, we’d ask: ‘hands up who’s always wanted to live in a chocolate factory?’ But to save time we think it would be faster just to ask who doesn’t want to live in one!
Anyone who has ever watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will have fantasied at some point or another about living in a chocolate factory – or is that just us? Well, if you live in Hayes, West London, that dream could be about to become true.
The former Nestle Milkybar factory is being transformed into a 1,386 home neighbourhood, complete with a gym and community space in the original canteen building.
Nestle took over the factory in 1929, and it became the first factory outside Switzerland to manufacture Nestle’s Milkybar. That means all those creamy bars of white chocolate you chomped on while pretending to be the Milkybar Kid were probably made in this very factory.
During the factory’s heyday in the Fifties, over 2,000 people (not Oompa Loompas) worked at the factory. The factory later switched to producing freeze-dried instant coffee, but closed in 2015.
The housing development was given the green light by Hillingdon Council back in 2017, and there are plans to start construction imminently. Developer Barrett intends to restore the 1960s Art Deco-style entrance and preserve the memorial to local factory workers who fought in both World Wars.
There are plans to create more than seven acres of green public space within the sprawling 30-acre complex. The towpath running along the Grand Union Canal will also be upgraded and opened up to members of the public for the first time.
This might not be the gingerbread house with ice-sugar shifters snowing down on you in Willy Wonka’s factory, but what’s to stop you turning your own kitchen in a Wonka approved testing room?
Prices for flats are expected to start at £325,000. For that price, you will not only get lovely canal view and flats dripping in industrial charm but the nostalgic chocolatey address of Nestle Avenue.
Will you be fulfilling your chocolate factory fantasy?