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Proposed station car park may see 50 spaces built on council allotment

PUBLISHED: 16:37 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 21 March 2019

Allotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Allotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A town station could almost double its car parking spaces - using land from a council allotment.

Thetford Garden and Allotment Club chairman Brian Farrell has said building a new station car park on an allotment in Thetford would upset allotment users. Picture: Rebecca MurphyThetford Garden and Allotment Club chairman Brian Farrell has said building a new station car park on an allotment in Thetford would upset allotment users. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

The Greater Thetford Development Partnership is now proposing to create a car park on the other side of the tracks with around 50 spaces on land that is currently used for allotments.

Thetford’s expanding population size is one of the reasons being cited for the move, with Hopkins Homes’ Kingsfleet housing development off Norwich Road recently beginning its first phase.

Improving connections in the region and revitalising the town centre have also been cited.

It has been specified by the Partnership that a similar-sized plot of land for allotments should be provided as a replacement either by Breckland Council or Norfolk County Council.

Allotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria PertusaAllotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Brian Farrell, chairman of the Thetford Garden and Allotment Club, said the club has not been contacted by any authorities about the proposal.

He said: “In some ways it is a good idea but it is bad news for the people who have those allotments.

“They have been there for many years and I am sure the last thing they want to do is move, especially as some of them are quite mature.

“It’s not just working the plot, it’s just they spend years building it up, and spend hundreds of pounds on it too.”

Allotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria PertusaAllotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Discussions have taken place with Greater Anglia, which said it is supportive of the plans but is not able to finance the scheme and will only become involved if it gets council funding.

The train company has told the Partnership that an alternative plan could be for the town or county council to undertake the construction and management of the site on a commercial basis.

Around 100 plots are currently available on the allotment, but initial estimates show that 50 parking spaces should take up no more than 10pc of the plots.

The Partnership will in the future be considering whether there are other potential sites in public ownership to replace the allotment space, and will be looking for funding to prepare a full business plan.

Allotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria PertusaAllotments near Thetford Station. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A Breckland Council spokesperson said: “The Greater Thetford Partnership Board will write formally to Thetford Town Council to outline the requirements for this project and suggest suitable land. If the suggested pieces of land are unavailable, then the relevant authorities will work together to consider alternatives.”

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