Council to submit plans to regenerate riverside

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FUNDS for an application for a riverside regeneration project have been released.

Money to enter a planning document to revamp the area in Bridge Street in Thetford was made available by Breckland Council last week on condition that Norfolk County Council match their funding.

The councils remain tight-lipped on the amount to be provided for the application, although it is known that the development would include shops, cafes, a hotel and cinema.

A Breckland Council spokeswoman said the cost of the proposals could not be released as it was commercially sensitive.

“Publicising this information would compromise our position in future commercial negotiations and undermine our duty to obtain best value.

“The funds will cover all the requirements to submit a standard planning application for a scheme of this size,” she said.

Those costs include architects’ fees, surveyors’ fees, valuation fees, environmental assessments and planning application fees.

A report from Breckland released after the decision was made stated that the planning submission would enable potential occupiers of the riverside development a chance to continue their interest.

The report stated: “Following significant work on reviewing the development options for the site and subsequent initial commercial appraisals the Council has received strong and confirmed interest from a variety of occupational users of the regenerated site.”

It goes on to state that planning permission would enable negotiations with the interested parties to progress.

It said: “The final outcome that this funding will contribute towards a flagship town centre regeneration project for Thetford which will be the catalyst for further regeneration of the town, creating significant community, social and economic benefits.”

Breckland expect the application to take six months to be drawn up for submission in Spring 2012.

Norfolk County Council is providing half the funding as part of its commitment to Moving Thetford Forward.