Plans for a re-located bus station in Thetford – said to be the key to a multi-million pound regeneration of the town – were given the go ahead yesterday.

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The decision goes against a parish poll which took place last summer and saw 81pc of respondents say they wanted the station to remain on its current site at the Anchor.

But yesterday members of the Norfolk County Council planning committee gave the St Nicholas Street proposals – for five bus bays, a single storey building for an information point, toilets and storage, and the renovation of a listed building – the thumbs up.

Marion Chapman-Allen, county councillor representing Thetford East, told the meeting that moving the bus station was vital to the regeneration of the town centre. She added: “This will lead the way for a proposed hotel, cinema and shops on the Anchor site and investment of £6m from Breckland Council and £1m from Norfolk County Council.

“Any further delay could potentially damage the regeneration of the town.”

But Stuart Wilson, of the Thetford Society, warned councillors approval of the plans would go against the wishes of local people. He said townsfolk were concerned about traffic problems and the safety of pedestrians: “Thetford is desperately in need of a new bus station – it has been for a number of years – but this is not the place for it.

Ahead of the vote by councillors, committee member John Ward said: “This new site is not ideal but it’s an improvement on the old site.”





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