First glimpse at town’s new look

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THETFORD got its first glimpse of what its new bus station and revamped Anchor site could look like this week.

The drawings were released by Breckland Council just days after it was decided that voters should take part in a parish poll on the relocation from the current site off Bridge Street to Minstergate.

More than 120 residents filled the Guildhall’s large court on Monday to decide whether the poll was required, and how to word the proposal.

Residents heard from resident Stuart Wilson who proposed the meeting should protest against the potential move of the bus station from its current Anchor site to St Nicholas Street.

Mr Wilson said the poll’s outcome would not be legally binding but was designed to give Breckland Council an indication of what residents wanted.

“We know the town far better than outside politicians. I hope they will have the good grace to listen to us,” he said.

Mr Wilson said many residents had been in favour of plans laid out in 2008 that included shops, taxi ranks and other amenities as part of the proposals. But he contended that the current plans excluded those facilities.

The final question – which will go to polls on a date to be set between July 29 and August 8 – was: ‘Do you want the bus station to move from its current site at The Anchor to the site on St Nicholas Street?’

William Nunn, leader of Breckland Council, said after the meeting that the bus station was part of a regenerative strategy for Thetford.

“I still find it slightly unnerving that people are trying to keep a bus station and a swathe of tarmac on the key regeneration site in the town centre.

“Most market towns would give their right arm for a multi-million regeneration project to be going ahead.

“The new site will have taxi ranks and other facilities and it will take bigger buses – I don’t know where those concerns have come from,” he said.

Restaurants, a cinema chain and hotelier are reported to have shown interest in the Anchor site.