Youth charity must move on after council law breach

Crack On have been running at their Stephenson Way site for 18 months, with volunteers and young people (under 25s) referred by the job centre coming to work in their shop for experience, before going back into work.''Breckland Council have now refused them a license to work as a charitable shop and they will have to find somewhere else.''FL ; Mark Byford, Tom Fener, Andrew Catto, Keelan Clifton, Lee Valentine and Chris Munns.
Crack On have been running at their Stephenson Way site for 18 months, with volunteers and young people (under 25s) referred by the job centre coming to work in their shop for experience, before going back into work.''Breckland Council have now refused them a license to work as a charitable shop and they will have to find somewhere else.''FL ; Mark Byford, Tom Fener, Andrew Catto, Keelan Clifton, Lee Valentine and Chris Munns.
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A charity that has helped hundreds of under 25s back into work will have to find a new home after a council found it to be breaching planning law.

The Crack On Foundation’s branch in Stephenson Way, Thetford, will have to shut its shop after Breckland Council found that it was not licensed to run on land registered for industrial use.

Volunteers directed to the charity from Job Centre Plus work in the shop in order to get experience to help them back into work.

Mark Byford, founder of Crack On, said: “We’ve been here for 18 months and they didn’t seem to care.

“It was when we entered into talks to get a proper license that they told us we had to go.”

Mr Byford said the charity is now looking for new premises for the shop, which takes up to £7,000 a month.

“We’ve helped hundreds of young people back into work so it would be a disaster to lose it all,” he said.

The charity has also taken on five people full-time who had volunteered in the shop.

A spokeswoman for Breckland Council said it had no choice but to reject the charity’s appeal due to the national policy framework.

“The shop did not have the necessary change of use planning permission so we had to take enforcement action.

“After the shop appealed against the decision, an independent planning inspector looked at the case and he upheld our judgement.”

Crack On now has six weeks before the shop must close.