Resistance to hospital demolition plans

Controversial proposals to knock down the former Thetford Cottage Hospital and redevelop the site for housing are being recommended for approval despite strong opposition in the town.

Controversial proposals to knock down the former Thetford Cottage Hospital and redevelop the site for housing are being recommended for approval despite strong opposition in the town.

Norfolk Primary Care Trust wants to build a total of 14 two and three bedroom homes on the Earls Street land where the old hospital - which originally dates from the late 19th century - stands.

Thetford Town Council has opposed the redevelopment plans and argues the building should be retained for public use and the Thetford Society believes the demolition of the hospital would remove an "important element of the town's history."

There have also been objections from local people relating to other issues including parking.


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But next Monday Breckland's development control committee will be recommended to approve the plans.

A report by planning officers says: "Whilst it is acknowledged that the existing building is of local historical interest, it is not considered that its contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area is such that permission should be withheld for an appropriately designed redevelopment scheme.

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"From an architectural point of view, the appearance of the original building has been significantly compromised over the years by the addition of large flat roofed extensions and other unsympathetic alterations."

The proposed homes would be in pairs of semi-detached houses and in short terraces.

Meanwhile, the committee will be recommended to renew permission for 12 homes on land owned by the Kilverstone Estate between the Tesco supermarket and Thetford Garden Centre.

The go-ahead was given for two semi-detached cottages, five terraced houses and five apartments in November 2003 and the permission expires next month.

Officers are recommending that it should be approved as long as conditions are implemented relating to issues including materials, landscaping and tree planting, access and renewable energy.

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