‘A coup for the town’ - business unveils next phase of £1.5m ‘masterplan’
PUBLISHED: 13:01 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 30 July 2019
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Up to 25 new jobs could be created as part of a business’ £1.5m drive to continue expanding its operations.
The Greentrees Group, which owns Greentrees Caravanstore in Dereham, is seeking to build five single-storey business units on vacant land beside its current base on Hurn Road.
Planning documents say the project would provide two retail units and three further premises for "general industrial use".
One of the five units will be occupied by Greentree Caravans as a new service base for its store operations.
Neil Greentree, managing director of The Greentrees Group, says approval of the "exciting" project would allow the company to expand its workforce by around 50pc.
"These plans are phase two of a four-phase, £1.5m masterplan," said Mr Greentree. "We've finished phase one - the building on our current caravan site - and now we are looking to build five additional units.
"Two of the units would be leased out and one of the others would be a brand new technical centre for us - the largest in East Anglia.
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"Ultimately this will result in a boost in employment. We currently employ 40 people and this development would take that number up to around 65, including training positions and apprenticeships.
"We want to get young people involved in something that is good and exciting for the town."
Redevelopment of the land, which lies behind Tesco Extra and near Breckland Council's offices, would provide 22 parking spaces and two spaces for accessible use.
Access would be still be gained from Hurn Road and it is perceived that a small increase in traffic "would be limited to the industrial site".
Management of new facilities would be overseen by Maple Leaf Properties, part of the Greentree Group.
From its humble beginnings selling second-hand caravans, Greentrees has gone from strength to strength ever since and is constantly looking to grow as a business.
"We've been here 47 years and we're very keen to stay in Dereham," added Mr Greentree. "For the town it's quite a coup having a big company flourishing in this area.
"At the moment things are very good for the industry because we're building the right products for the right age groups. Caravanning is far more of a young person's thing these days and no amount of airport problems is going to affect your holiday."