Thetford's cottage hospital plans

PUBLISHED: 09:08 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 21:52 07 July 2010

BRECKLAND Council officials have recommended the demolition of parts of Thetford's cottage hospital to make room for the development of 13 new homes.

BRECKLAND Council officials have recommended the demolition of parts of Thetford's cottage hospital to make room for the development of 13 new homes.

The application, submitted by NHS Norfolk, proposes converting the original 19th century hospital into four flats, with later additions to the hospital knocked down to make room for nine new homes.

A news access would be created on Earls Street and the footpath widened and extended.

In a report to go before the council later this month Thetford Town Council welcomed the plans and the removal of “later unsympathetic additions”, but concerns were raised by the Thetford Society about the close proximity to Thetford snooker club and possible disturbance to residents late at night.

Several letters of complaint were also received about the scale of the development and level of proposed car parking.

A total of 15 spaces are included in the plans, which amounts to one space per home, and planning officers have also recommended cycle storage facilities.

Principal planning officer Nick Moys, said in the report: “Overall, it is considered that the refurbishment of the cottage hospital building would enhance the street scene and surrounding conservation area whilst securing the future of a local landmark building.

“From the representations received it is clear that the cottage hospital is a valued part of the social history of the town.”

The cottage hospital was made redundant almost three years ago when health workers and patients moved to a new £4.5m healthy living centre on the edge of town.

The site was then put on the open market by NHS Norfolk in 2007 with a price tag of 350,000 but it failed to sell.

NHS Norfolk, which owns the Earls Street site, previously submitted applications to demolish the Victorian building and redevelop the site into 14 two and three bedroom terraced homes.

But the proposal was stopped in its tracks after Breckland councillors refused to grant permission saying the former hospital was seen as part of the town's heritage.

The original bid to redevelop the site was fought by Thetford Town Council and the Thetford Society and a petition of more than 250 signatures was collected.

The proposal will go before Breckland's Development Control Committee on January 25 at 9.30am at Elizabeth House in Dereham.

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