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Developer may save part of old hotel

PUBLISHED: 10:34 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:09 07 July 2010

A developer yesterday hinted that he would save part of a historic hotel after submitting a third planning application in the space of a year.

The owner of the redundant Anchor Hotel in Thetford, which was featured in the first episode of the Dad's Army television show, wants to turn the site into a courtyard housing and shopping development.

A developer yesterday hinted that he would save part of a historic hotel after submitting a third planning application in the space of a year.

The owner of the redundant Anchor Hotel in Thetford, which was featured in the first episode of the Dad's Army television show, wants to turn the site into a courtyard housing and shopping development.

Hertfordshire-based Zog II has already submitted two planning applications to create 1,000sqm of retail space and 24 flats - one involving total demolition of the Bridge Street building and the other involving partial conversion.

But Mark Lahiff yesterday said the company now planned to keep the 18th century part of the hotel after submitting proposals to knock down the late 20th century section.

The developer said he was expecting Breckland Council to approve all their planning applications by the end of the summer. He added that the 1960s extension had fallen into a state of disrepair, but he would “most likely” opt to retain the older part of the hotel for conversion.

Stuart Wright, chairman of the Thetford Society, who runs the popular Dad's Army tours, welcomed the latest news on the derelict building.

“We would like to see as much of the Anchor retained as possible and a sympathetic conversion to keep a bit of character in the town,” he said.

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