Thetford Town centre masterplan to go back under scrutiny

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Thetford’s long-awaited Town Centre Masterplan will go under further scrutiny after Breckland Council ‘s Cabinet extended consultation.

Intended as a ‘vision’ for the future development of the town centre, the 88-page plan outlines retail and leisure possibilities for Thetford.

It includes consolidating parking into four car parks, improving the riverside area and introducing seasonal markets and festivals to attract visitors.

The priority is on changes that can be delivered in the short term, according to a report.

At Breckland Council on Tuesday, Cabinet members decided to extend consultation on the plans, despite recommendations from its officers to endorse them for approval.

Mark Kiddle-Morris, executive member for assets and strategic development, presented the plans to members.

Speaking before the meeting, he said the plans had no timeline and were a ‘vision document’.

“The town centre at the moment is not working in terms of getting people in and giving them something to do if they get there,” he said.

Cllr Kiddle-Morris said the plan would need private investment if it was to be realised and recognised that attracting visitors to the town was a sticking point for the plan.

Speaking at the meeting, Terry Jermy, Breckland Councillor for Saxon Ward, said the plans were flawed.

Issues include an objection to additional housing in the town centre and possible charges for car parking, according to Cllr Jermy.

He said the plans had created ‘considerable concern’ among residents and that plans from Breckland Council and Moving Thetford Forward tended to be seen as a ‘fait accompli’.

The plan was produced by London-based firm, Allies and Morrison Practitioners.