Chocolate factory with Charlie link launches July 20

Former Milky Bar site will be transformed into new homes

We would have loved to headline this article Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but we feel that might have been stretching the reality a little. However, what’s true to say is that an iconic former Nestlé factory, once owned by the herculean strong man featured in a series of Charlie Chaplin films, is to be restored by Barratt London as Hayes Village.

The Village will launch off-plan on July 20 and the development will be part of a significant regeneration project which will deliver 1,386 new homes, while creating more than 500 employment opportunities to ensure the sustainability of the community.

In good shape, one time factory owner Eugene Sandow. Photo: D. Bernard & Co, Melbourne [CC BY 4.0 (].

Local legend suggests that after retiring from Hollywood, Eugene Sandow, the father of modern body-building and a diet inventor, invested his earnings into Sandow’s Cocoa Works, which opened in Hayes in 1913. In 1929, the factory changed hands to become the first factory outside of Switzerland to manufacture the Nestlé Milky Bar, immortalised in advertising by the Milkybar Kid (see video at foot of article).

To honour the history of the site, key elements of the original design will be restored and integrated back into the new homes. The iconic Art Deco entrance will be retained, alongside the original staircase and south façade of the main factory building.

In addition, historic factory machinery and artefacts will be innovatively integrated into the design of the apartment’s buildings, ensuring the new homes retain their original character.

Ed McCoy, sales director at Barratt West London, says: “As a much-loved local landmark, it is incredibly important to us that the conversion of the former Nestlé factory is heritage-led. Historic brownfield sites, such as disused factories, often represent a distinct moment in a community’s history. We hope to celebrate that history, alongside allowing the building to play a significant role in the community’s future.”

More than three hectares of green spaces will be opened-up across the site, including a 1.3km trail, 300m of previously inaccessible canal frontage, communal gardens, and a children’s play area.

What’s more, the former canteen building will be refurbished and gifted to the council for community use.

As the capital faces the challenge of building additional homes to meet population growth, property developers are turning to brownfield sites such as the Nestlé factory, reimagining former industrial sites as contemporary housing.

Barratt London, which last year built 100% of its homes on previously developed land, is currently also working to restore Harrow’s disused Kodak factory. Reborn as Eastman Village, the development will offer more than 1,000 modern homes.

Barratts is a great believer in retaining some of the history of where it builds. To the east of London the company is doing similar things on the site of the former West Ham United ground.

Ed McCoy adds: “There is a great potential to redevelop disused industrial sites into much-needed quality housing. The homes we are creating at Hayes Village will benefit from a wealth of transport links, establishing a new urban hub for thousands of Londoners.”

Ideally located, Crossrail will serve Hayes & Harlington Station from December, offering the residents of Hayes Village excellent transport links into Central London and further afield.

Prices at Hayes Village are expected to begin at £325,000. For more information visit or call 033 3355 8497 to register your interest.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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