Projects in Thetford town centre can go ahead after appeal turned down

Thetford news from the Bury Free Press

Thetford news from the Bury Free Press

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An appeal against a compulsory purchase of land in Thetford town centre has been quashed - paving the way for two major developments.

Norfolk County Council’s compulsory purchase order (CPO) of the land in St Nicholas Street/Minstergate as part of plans to build a new bus interchange can now go ahead following an inquiry by the Planning Inspectorate.

Nolan Guthrie, who owns an old warehouse and land on the site objected against the CPO, as he felt the land was ‘unsuitable’ for use as an interchange, there were potential alternative sites for the facility, ‘no beneficial use’ had been found for a Grade II listed warehouse on the site and there was ‘no compelling reason for its acquisition’.

Inspector Julia Gregory turned down his appeal noting the town’s existing bus station has ‘inadequacies’ and the proposed scheme will provide ‘better facilities’. She said the plans would renovate the derelict listed building.

Breckland District Council wants to redevelop the existing station site into a hotel, cinema and shops.

When asked about the decision, Mr Guthrie said he was considering whether to appeal against it. He said: “It isn’t a good site for a bus station. It’s dangerous.”

Work on the new station is due to start new April.

Chris Skinner, solicitor for the county council said: “Not only will this scheme see improvements to the bus interchange but it is going to ensure the restoration of an important derelict building.”