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Date set for Thetford's Abbey Barns inquiry

PUBLISHED: 13:28 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 21:39 07 July 2010

A LONG running battle over a former cluniac monastery in Norfolk looks set to finally be decided.

A date for a planning inquiry over Thetford's historic Abbey Barns has been set as November 10 and the town's Carnegie Room been booked for three days for the inquiry.

A LONG running battle over a former cluniac monastery in Norfolk looks set to finally be decided.

A date for a planning inquiry over Thetford's historic Abbey Barns has been set as November 10 and the town's Carnegie Room been booked for three days for the inquiry.

Campaigners have been trying to save part of the site, some of which is Grade I listed, from being converted into homes and say it should instead be turned into a visitor centre.

However, this year planning permission was granted by Breckland Council to HG Developments' to turn parts of the site off Monksgate into 26 homes in April.

But shortly after permission was granted the project had to be put on ice because a public inquiry was called.

The campaign against the development has included support from amenity societies like the Ancient Monuments Society and the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings.

The site has been described as of national importance.

Thetford Society has been at the forefront of the campaign, which saw them put forward idea for a visitor centre including holiday homes, cycle hire and offices.

HG Developments' plans would see an unlisted barn converted into six homes and two ranges of unlisted buildings demolished.

Two buildings on the site, Abbey Farm Cottages and Abbey Farm Barn, are Grade I listed and said to be significant remains of medieval structures. They are on English Heritage's register of buildings at risk.

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