Blueprint for new shops in Dereham
Elaine MaslinA proposal to create a new shopping centre on a chunk of Dereham currently taken up by car parks has been welcomed with caution by the town's chamber of trade.Elaine Maslin
A proposal to create a new shopping centre on a chunk of Dereham currently taken up by car parks has been welcomed with caution by the town's chamber of trade.
Planners think land extending from Georges Road and Nunns Way to Cowper Road, including land where the TA centre stands, is the best site in the town for new retail development.
A new planning blueprint for the entire district is being drawn up and the town has been identified as needing an additional 5,000sqm of retail space up to 2026.
The idea was included in a report to Breckland Council's LDF task and finish group on Thursday at which councillors agreed to the idea for the town.
Stephen Cross, secretary of Dereham and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, welcomed the proposal to keep retail development central in the town.
However, he said that no more new retail developments should go ahead before the second phase of the Dencora development in the town's Wright's Walk was finished and that planners should address the loss of car parking it would create.
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He added: 'In the long term the benefit is it would keep the town central and I cannot think of another site.
'Clearly the implication to car parking need to be addressed. But I do not think it will happen for a long time, Dencora never finished its development.'
A report to the committee said that a town centre retail study from 2007 showed the town should have an extra 7,750-8,500sqm of retail space up to 2018.
Some of this has already been taken up by existing planned or finished projects, its says, adding there is still a requirement for a further 5,000sqm and that the land proposed would be the best site for this.
The report added: 'The redevelopment/reorganisation of parking provision should be consistent with the core strategy and any other relevant parking strategies for the town.'
While it says one problem to this idea would be multiple land ownership, Breckland was said to be one of the key land owners in the area.
A proposal to classify a parcel of land east of Dereham Town Football Club as open space for a new cemetery was agreed.
The town is running out of spaces for graves in the current cemetery and needs a new site. This was the town council's preferred site.
Changes to Dereham's settlement boundary, the line outside which development would not be permitted, were also discussed and agreed.
It was proposed to put the following sites out of the settlement boundary: Humbletoft Cottages, land at Dereham St Nicholas School, Dereham Neatherd High School and playing field, open space adjacent to Quebec Hall, Northgate High School, Dereham cemetery and garden land at West Lodge, Millfield and Chestnut Place, Sandy Lane, open space off Hillcrest Avenue.
It was proposed to put the following sites into the settlement boundary: Byron Avenue, Humbletoft.
All the proposals still have to be finalised and will go out to public consultation, scheduled for April.