bid for store on site

UP TO 250 jobs could be created if plans to build a major supermarket are approved.

Location 3 Properties has applied to Breckland Council to turn the vacant former Tulip/Thermos site in Caxton Way, Thetford, into a 56,000sqft supermarket.

The property specialist says the new outlet would create up to 250 jobs and bring investment of £15 million into Thetford.

A petrol station with kiosk, 313 car parking spaces and 76 cycle spaces are also included in the plans.

An occupier for the site is yet to be found, but in a report to Breckland Council the company states that there is ‘known interest from major foodstore operators’.

The report states: “The site provides an opportunity to deliver a modern contemporary design while meeting the latest requirements of building regulations in terms of efficiency.”

Figures in the report claimed that residents were leaving Thetford to do their grocery shopping – with 40 per cent going elsewhere.

The new store would join Sainsbury’s on London Road, with permission also having been granted for a new Lidl supermarket on the opposite side of the road.

The car park entrance to the store would be from London Road, with a new junction being put in place.

In a statement to planners, Thetford Town Council raised objections to the plans.

It said: “The committee do not favour the use of industrial land being lost to a supermarket, they do not agree with a new entrance on to the 40mph London Road.

“They think this is in the wrong place, there are too many supermarkets in one area of the town which will cause major traffic problems on the busy London Road.

“With all the planned growth of housing going to the north another supermarket ought to be on that side of town.”

A decision on the plans is expected from officials by June 1.

A public consultation was carried out before the application was made, with 529 comments or enquiries being made.

Of those, 79 per cent backed the proposals.