REVEALED: Business park plans could bring 100 new jobs to Norfolk town

The empty land off Napier Way, Dereham. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

The empty land off Napier Way, Dereham. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

Plans to develop a patch of land in Dereham which has sat empty for more than half a decade could bring up to 100 new jobs to the town.

The development would see the remainder of the town's former Cemex UK manufacturing site transformed into a business park, offering 115 parking spaces and creating between 50 to 100 jobs.

Dereham mayor Hilary Bushell said: 'I welcome anything that brings employment opportunities to Dereham - it's absolutely brilliant and what we want.

'I think we should encourage any opportunities in the town and have a look at their merits.

'It's very encouraging to know there are all these things in hand.'

The former Cemex site in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

The former Cemex site in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The land, off Napier Way, has been empty for over six years, after Cemex – which previously made concrete building blocks there – ceased operations at the Yaxham Road site in June 2012.

Plans to build restaurants and a hotel on the eight-acre site were submitted in February 2013, and a McDonald's drive through, an Aldi supermarket, and a Marston's pub now occupy half of the land.

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But ambitions to create a 51-bed hotel fell through – with residents left to wonder when the mound of earth would ever be replaced.

And now a planning application to regenerate the remaining 3.41 acres could change all that.

READ MORE: Mystery remains over activity behind metal fence on empty land

The application, submitted on December 7, 2018, and registered with Breckland Council the week of January 15, 2019, described the proposal as a 'mixed use business park and employment hub'.

The development would include offices, retail, industrial and trade units, parking and access roads.

It would consist of up to 10 'steel-framed structures' of a total of 5,209 square metres, constructed to the south of the initial development of the site.

The applicant and landowner, Lewis Mantle of Norfolk Land Development Ltd., a Dereham property firm, is represented by planning agents Plandescil Ltd.

It comes as work on a £1m new business centre off Kingston Road gets underway – a decade after it was originally due to start.

The development, opposite Breckland Council's offices at Elizabeth House, is expected to create 'a considerable number' of new jobs.

Ms Bushell added that she hoped in future 'people can make Dereham a one-stop place, rather than having to travel to go to work. We're a growing town and we need to be able to support our residents in all ways, including with work opportunities.'

READ MORE: Work begins on new £1 million business centre on outskirts of Dereham town centre