Rival councillors to work together to push resident involvement in consultation

King's House, where Thetford Town Council are based. Picture: Sonya Duncan

King's House, where Thetford Town Council are based. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

Thetford Town Council is calling for boundary changes so that people moving into thousands of new homes on the outskirts of the town pay the same as those already living there.

Some 5,000 houses look set to be built on parts of Croxton, Brettenham and Kilverstone, under the proposed Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE).

Thetford Town Council has requested for its boundaries to be moved to include the SUE in its parish.

It says if the boundary is not changed, those who live in the new development will use the town’s services but will not be paying for them.

The authority added it would be unfair that the new residents would pay £100 less in council tax than those who already live in Thetford. Breckland Council’s Community Governance Review (CGR) consultation has asked residents in the three parishes if they agree with the town council’s request to expand its boundary.

The first stage ended last month, and at a (CGR) review meeting on March 28, the sub committee said the boundary changes may have to wait until people have moved into the new houses and so that they can also be consulted.

But Thetford town councillors feel the views of their residents are not being taken into account.

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Councillor Chris Harvey said: “What is the point of having a consultation if they ignore people’s responses.”

He added there will be a “cross party effort” to help inform the public.

“We are going to push the town to get far more responses. We are going to take more action.”

Of the 433 Thetford residents who responded to the consultation, 389 agreed with the changes, 28 disagreed and 16 were unclear.

The majority of residents living in Croxton and Brettenham and Kilverstone were against the changes.

In total 92 people responded, 81 disagreed with moving the boundary and 11 agreed.

A spokesman for Breckland Council added: “Members also felt that, before making such a significant change, those living in the upcoming SUE should be consulted, and this should be carried out when the houses are built and occupied.”

No final decision has been made.

For more information, visit the Breckland Council consultation page or contact Thetford Town Council on 01842 754247 or visit the offices at King’s House on King Street.