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Barns scheme gets more time

Planning Permission on Abbey Barns in Thetford was extended on Monday by Breckland Council. The buildings date from the 13th century and are set to be turned into a 26-home residential development.

Planning Permission on Abbey Barns in Thetford was extended on Monday by Breckland Council. The buildings date from the 13th century and are set to be turned into a 26-home residential development.

The firm behind a multi-million pound development of a site that includes Grade I listed buildings has been given more time to finish the job.

Tey Gardens LLP is looking to develop the derelict Abbey Barns site in Monksgate, Thetford, which contains buildings dating from the 13th and 15th century.

Planning permission for a scheme to build 26 homes on the site was granted to the site’s former owners, HG Developers, in February 2010.

On Monday, members agreed to extend the permission for another three years - despite objections from local groups.

Stuart Wilson, of the Thetford Society, and town councillors Carl Clark and Brenda Canham, spoke against the scheme.

Mr Wilson had concerns that a residential development could not be completed.

“When the financial viability of the proposed scheme is studied it is clear that residential development will not take place,” he said.

He added that the site had been neglected by the previous owners, and raised fears it may happen again if the permission was extended.

“The property changed ownership in November 2011 and we are now asked to believe that the current owners will act differently,” he said.

“Will an extension simply allow the present owners another three years to do just as the previous owners did - sit on it for a while and then sell it on?”

Ian Newman, from Tey Gardens LLP, said work on the development could start in the ‘next few months’, or as soon as conditions were discharged.

“We understand what we have to do and how to do it.

“Letting it deteriorate further doesn’t make much sense because we will have to pay more for repairs,” he said.

He said the firm were eager to work with the community on the project.

 

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