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Pupils consulted on Thetford future

PUBLISHED: 09:46 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:27 07 July 2010

You're the future of the town - and we want your views on its future.

That's the clear message to teenagers in Thetford from planners at the heart of a major expansion scheme over the next two decades.

You're the future of the town - and we want your views on its future.

That's the clear message to teenagers in Thetford from planners at the heart of a major expansion scheme over the next two decades.

During this week, nearly 2,000 students at the Rosemary Musker and Charles Burrell high schools and Thetford Grammar are being given presentations on the proposals, which include more than 6,000 new homes, 5,000 new jobs, a new-look town centre, country park and more school places.

All the young people are being given questionnaires on what they would like in Thetford and their views on the proposals.

Planners know they have a tough job to tackle low self esteem and improve Thetford's reputation - and a show of hands during a Year Nine assembly at Rosemary Musker showed the majority of young people's first impression was that it is a “bad place” to live in.

But the young people also voiced optimism about the future and praised council chiefs for involving them in the debate.

Brian Leay, 13, said: “I hope it will all happen. I'd really like a skate park and loads of people would use it.”

Sophie Buckley, 14, said: “It is a good idea that they are asking us what we want rather than just going ahead and doing it.”

More shops and better quality shops was top of 13-year-old Nicola Scarrow's wish list.

She also said there had to be better facilities as well as just more houses.

Thomas Knowles, 14, said Thetford was a “nice place to live” and he supported the idea of a country park - but said the town really needed a cinema.

Breckland Council's principal planning officer (Thetford growth point) Richard Kay said: “We are making a really big effort in involving the kids in planning for the future of the town.”

He told the teenagers: “Most of you live in Thetford. All of you go to school in Thetford and many of you will continue to live here. It is your town and you will be living here much longer than most of the adults.”

The consultation period on the Thetford Area Action Plan continues until April 3. Leaflets outlining what is proposed are being delivered to every home in the town. Website - www.movingthetfordforward.com.


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