Thetford news

The old site of the Thetford Magistrates Court, which is being converted into flats.
The old site of the Thetford Magistrates Court, which is being converted into flats.

The former Thetford Magistrates’ Court house will be converted into affordable flats if a planning application is accepted.

Havebury Housing Partnership want to turn the court, at the rear of the current Thetford bus station site, into 14 flats.

The building has been unused for nearly two years after it was one of 103 courts axed by the Government in 2011 in an effort to slash spending.

Paul Edwards, director of resources at Havebury Housing, confirmed its intention to turn the building into residential properties.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with Breckland Council to look at bringing the property back into use and help meet the high demand for affordable homes in the area.

“We are proposing to convert the building into 14 individual flats and create six one bedroom and eight bedroom homes for affordable rent,” he said.

If Breckland Council’s planning committee approve the application, work on the project could begin by November this year, according to Mr Edwards.

Consultees on the project have raised concerns that the conversion could lead to a shortage of parking on the south side of the town centre.

The flats will have nine parking spaces for 14 flats, according to the plans.

The shortage will be worsened by the Anchor Site redevelopment, according to Stuart Wilson from the Thetford Society.

“It’s good to have the empty building put to some use.

“But the main question is how is car parking going to be affected.

“There’s only going to be street parking on Bury Road and it’s going to end up being very congested,” he said.

Similar comments on the scheme were made by Simon Skull, of Belmont House.

“Assuming one vehicle for one bedroom unit and two for a two bedroom unit, this gives 22 vehicles,” he said.

The application was made on April 2 and comments on it will close on May 16.