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Residents have say on Thetford growth

PUBLISHED: 10:12 09 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:13 07 July 2010

Residents and workers in Thetford have identified greenfield areas to the north of the town as their preferred sites for new housing and employment.

Almost 1,000 people had their say during a six-week consultation exercise this summer as part of the town's growth-point initiative, which will create 6,000 new homes and 5,000 jobs by 2021.

Residents and workers in Thetford have identified greenfield areas to the north of the town as their preferred sites for new housing and employment.

Almost 1,000 people had their say during a six-week consultation exercise this summer as part of the town's growth-point initiative, which will create 6,000 new homes and 5,000 jobs by 2021.

The results of the “issues and options” questionnaire, which were revealed yesterday, show that edge-of-town fields to the north of Thetford between Croxton Road and Norwich Road (432 votes) and east of Norwich Road (383 votes) were chosen by respondents as the most favourable of 10 locations for possible new housing development.

Greenfield areas to the north west of the A11 (449 votes) and the north east of the A11 (347 votes) were also identified by townsfolk and workers as the two preferred places for new employment areas.

Officials from Breckland Council yesterday praised the response of the public, which they say will play a “vital” role in shaping the town's growth over the next 13 years alongside other planning factors such as drainage, transport and environmental considerations.

William Nunn, Breckland Council leader and chairman of the Moving Thetford Forward board, said the data will help officers narrow down the options in the Thetford Area Action Plan, which will be published in early 2009, and will be the subject of further consultation.

“We are fortunate to have been awarded growth-point funding and this will enable Thetford to expand, thrive and prosper in the future. The expansion will have a major impact on the lives of people living and working in Thetford in years to come, so it is crucial that we have the views of local people to shape this growth,” he said.

Trevor Holden, council chief executive, said officers would be returning to the Carnegie Room on October 21 to update residents on projects in the town.

Results of the 22-question document also show that 75pc of respondents supported moving the bus station to the St Nicholas Street/Minstergate area.

A better bus station, measures to sort out derelict buildings and a better community hall were also identified as the top three priorities for town-centre improvements.

People also had their say on 10 brownfield sites, with 501 people against and 254 in favour of the grade I listed Abbey Barns being used for possible housing and 426 respondents agreed and 380 disagreed that the redundant Anchor Hotel should be used for potential new homes.

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