Councillor to join fight against bus station plans at meeting

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A COUNTY councillor has agreed to ‘join forces’ with Thetford Town Council in its fight against new bus station proposals.

Mike Brindle, Norfolk county councillor for Thetford West, asked Tuesday’s meeting of the town council if it would be willing to coordinate its efforts in objecting to the re-siting of Thetford Bus Station from its current Anchor site to Minstergate.

Norfolk County Council has stated that a planning committee meeting will be held in January to decide the fate of the proposal, put forward by the Moving Thetford Forward (MTF) board.

After the meeting, Cllr Brindle said there were still a number of issues with the plans, including concerns over whether it can accommodate large National Express coaches.

“My intention is to ask the planning committee not to pass the bus station unless they are satisfied it is going to be a good job.

“There are a number of things with the plans that could be made better and if you are building a new bus station it should be suitable from the start,” he said.

The town council agreed to work with Cllr Brindle to object to the proposals, with Cllr Terry Lamb and Ed Chambers, town clerk, due to attend the January planning meeting.

The town council has also moved to gather support for its objections by sending copies of a letter to local MP Elizabeth Truss and Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government.

The letter was originally sent on October 10 to William Nunn, leader of Breckland Council, who is backing the bus station move.

Six points of contention are outlined in the letter.

The first cites the town council’s belief that ‘unbelievable disregard’ was shown towards the recent Parish Poll.

Further concern was shown over the MTF Board’s ‘dismissive’ treatment of alternative schemes put before it at a recent meeting and that Breckland Council was overly concerned with realising the site’s commercial potential.

It states: “What particularly concerns a majority of our councillors is that Breckland Council – the accountable body for Moving Thetford Forward –can now be perceived as set to benefit financially from a land deal regardless of local opinion.”

The letter concludes by urging the MTF board to ‘respect the past’ in their plans, focusing on design quality which it believes is lacking in current proposals.