What Thetford can expect in 2020
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
As a new decade dawns in Thetford; here are some issues and developments expected in 2020.
Kingsfleet housing estate
The Kingsfleet housing estate is set to transform Thetford once its 5,000 homes are completed.
Planning permission for the homes, three schools, a community centre and healthcare facilities, was obtained in 2016 for land alongside the A11 on Norwich Road, Croxton, heading into the town.
Also known as the Thetford North Strategic Urban Extension (SUE), 2019 saw the first phase of homes, 343, finished by Suffolk-based Hopkins Homes, with keys being handed over in the final months of the decade.
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The build has been controversial in the town, with residents concerned about the increase in traffic and strain the increased population could put on local services.
In December, it was revealed that Kingsfleet will use all the spare electricity capacity in the north of the town, with a Norfolk County Council report showing £6.5m needs to be spent to build new sub-stations and £1m to upgrade existing connections. Looking ahead, the second phase of construction is set to begin.
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The Ark pub
Residents were surprised when The Ark, an 165-year-old pub in Norwich Road, started to be demolished in August 2019.
Breckland Council launched an investigation and found that the work, by owner Chippy Capital Ltd, did not have planning permission and forced it to stop.
While the oldest part of the building remains, the site is closed as the council awaits planning permission to be sought.
Questions remain over the future of the pub with an application expect by the owners this year.
If Breckland is not satisfied with it, the pub could be rebuilt.
An attempt to curb street drinking in the town centre is set to go to the public as the Safer Thetford Action Group (STAG) looks to stop more off-licences opening.
Currently if an application is made for an alcohol licence, unless there is an objection from a relevant party, the licence will be awarded. STAG wants to create a Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) within the licensing policy which will make the applicant prove how they would prevent crime and disorder, public nuisance, consider public safety and protect children from harm.
It was discussed by Breckland Council in December last year and will be put to the public in the near future before returning for a decision.