A manufacturing firm has pulled out of a deal which would have brought 90 jobs to a vacant building on a Witham industrial estate.

Calorex, part of The Dantherm Group, was set to move its Maldon premises to Freebournes House, Witham, bringing 90 jobs to the town’s Freebournes Industrial Estate.

In preparation for the move, the company applied to add general industrial use to the current office and storage usage of the site, with the application being given the green light by Braintree Council at the end of August.

However just before the lease was signed, the company decided not to pursue the deal.

Owner of the premises, Simon Fox, said he had lost out on the chance of marketing the property to other tenants during the six months discussions were ongoing.

He said: “Overall I feel the firm’s conduct over the last few weeks has been very poor, dragging out a few comments on a generous offer from the local authority and presenting them as valid reasons for discontinuing is quite frankly beyond a joke.”

Witham Town Council, Braintree Council and Witham MP Priti Patel supported the application.

Gavin Abel, UK Finance Director of Calorex, said the company had been looking at several options over the past 18 months. He said: “During this time we shared our options with our employees, and then received feedback from them.

“A significant number of employees objected to the move to Witham, as it created difficulties for them, so we needed to take that into consideration.

“We also worked with the council and MPs in Maldon, who were keen for us to stay in Maldon.

“We also fully calculated the relocation costs of all options, and also the cost of refurbishing our own site. As a result of all these factors we decided to opt for the lower cost and less disruptive option, and also the option preferred by our employees, which is to renovate our own site.”

The premises were home to Woodford Litho before it went into administration in 2015.