Listed building puts bus station ‘at risk’

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WORRIES over a Grade II listed building are threatening to put plans for a new bus station in jeopardy.

Those are the findings of a report being delivered to Norfolk County Council’s cabinet as it looks at Breckland Council’s application for a bus station in Minstergate, Thetford.

Fears have been raised by the county council’s environmental health officer over the impact that the station would have on the residential building in Minstergate – described as being ‘sensitive to noise’.

The building’s owners have lodged an objection to the scheme and the report suggests the council purchases the property and end its residential use.

It states: “If this is not successfully overcome as part of this process the application could be refused.

“In turn, this could jeopardise the delivery of the bus interchange project and wider Moving Thetford Forward schemes.”

The owners have also told planners that they intend to serve a Blight Notice on the council in relation to the house.

That would require the council to buy the whole property, rather than just the two small areas of garden needed for the bus station project.

The report, by the director of environment, transport and development and the managing director of NPS Property Consultants Ltd, states that the building will no longer be suitable for residential use once the bus station is built.

It recommends that the cabinet agrees to enter an agreement with the building’s owners to buy the property on condition they remove their objections.

It also advises a Compulsory Purchase Order be pursued, which is already being prepared for other areas of land in Minstergate.

The cost of the process will be covered by Moving Thetford Forward and any decision is subject to the approval of the Thetford Area Action Plan.