The regeneration of a prominent town centre location in Thetford has moved a step forward after plans were submitted for the former Anchor Hotel site.

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Breckland Council has submitted proposals to demolish the derelict hotel and replace it with a development including shops, restaurant, a cinema and a new hotel.

The revamp project for the riverside area of Thetford comes after Norfolk County Councillors approved the relocation of the bus station from Bridge Street to St Nicholas Street almost two weeks ago.

People have until August 20 to air their views on the Anchor plans, which has been boarded-up for several years, and a decision is set to be made in the autumn.

The scheme would involve the demolition of the former hotel and the construction of a three to four-storey building on a larger footprint. Breckland Council claims that the development would create more than 50 new full-time jobs and boost the local economy and tourism.

The proposals provide 64 parking spaces compared to the previous 85 spaces.

In a report to the council, Richard Smith of NPS Property Consultants, said the former Anchor Hotel was in a “dilapidated” state and was “not considered to be of any significant architectural or townscape merit”. He added that the proposals were of a “high quality design”.

“The proposed redevelopment of the site will remove a neglected building from the street scene and replace it with a well designed development and the introduction of a significant area of high quality realm which will add to the future cultural heritage of the locality.”

He added that the development would not pose a detrimental impact on neighbours and a flood risk assessment says that the development is safe from flooding.

The plans come despite 81pc of respondents to a Thetford parish poll last summer calling for the bus station to remain in Bridge Street.

Norwich-based LSI Architects held a public consultation and meetings with community groups, schools, businesses and stakeholders earlier this year on the project.

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