Document charts the way ahead

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RESIDENTS in Thetford will this week get a chance to comment on plans that could transform the town.

A consultation period for the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) begins on Monday, with residents being sent the final draft of the 15-year development.

Proposals outlined in the document include a new train station near Joe Blunt’s Lane and the A11, frequent new bus services and an upgraded walking and cycling network.

It is hoped the proposals will be delivered by 2026, with an increase of 5,000 homes and 5,000 jobs.

Breckland Council has sent out the documents with the aim of getting feedback from residents.

In a foreword for the full draft document, William Nunn, leader of Breckland Council, said it was a chance for Thetford to develop which could not be missed.

“By 2026 Thetford will become a well planned, self-contained sustainable town where people feel part of the community and where they continue to enjoy living and working,” he writes.

“It will be a place people will be attracted to with its renowned natural and historic environment qualities.”

The main focus of the plans is on a site just north of the town, dubbed the Thetford Urban Extension.

Development in this area will include 5,000 new homes and 40 hectares of land for businesses to the south of the A11.

The new railway station would be on this site, as well as a centre providing small shops and services.

Homes will be built in phases, with a maximum of 450 to be built in a year. Work would begin in 2012/13.

There will also be large-scale improvements to existing estates in the town and enhancement of sites of particular environmental interest.

The Gallows Hill site has been picked out as one of the sites where this management will take place.

The 16-page simplified version of the final draft will be sent to homes today.

Responses must be received by 4pm on March 4.