Work to demolish Jewson site begins as housing application is withdrawn

Work to demolish the former builders merchant Jewson on Westfield Road in Dereham is firmly underway

Work to demolish the former builders merchant Jewson on Westfield Road in Dereham is firmly underway. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

Work to demolish a former builders merchant is well underway while controversial plans to bring more houses to Dereham have been withdrawn

It comes following the announcement that the now vacant Westfield Road branch of Jewson in Toftwood had ceased trading back in July earlier this year.

Plans were submitted to Breckland Council by the applicant Pellamay Property Limited and will see three buildings plus a small outside toilet block demolished.

As well as the removal of a former showroom, woodmill and woodstore, 50 tonnes of asbestos will be moved from the site which will then be made safe for future development.

The work is expected to be finished by December 1.

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At the time of the closure, a spokesman for Jewson said the decision had come about following a review of the company's branches. Its second premises in the town, on Greens Road, remained open but one employee was made redundant.

News that the branch had ceased trading prompted concerns over the potential unlocking of even more new housing in the already expanding town.

An application had been lodged to build 24 homes on the former Palgrave Brown site next door but this has since been withdrawn.

It was thought the land on Westfield Road could be put to the same use, joining a growing number of homes on the way in the Toftwood area.

The one-and-a-half acre site remains on the market and is listed with property agents Roche Chartered Surveyors for offers exceeding £500,000.

Breckland Council confirmed in a letter to agents Architech Design and Planning that prior approval to demolish the site was not required.

Dereham town councillor Phillip Duigan said he supported the application but asked that "any potential crime/anti social behaviour implications" were addressed.

Town councillor Hilary Bushell added: "Providing all precautions are adhered to and due diligence is undertaken I cannot see a problem."

Environmental Health officer Sue Hammond said: "There are no objections or comments on the grounds of Environmental Protection, providing the development proceeds in line with the application details and adequate control measures are in place to prevent noise and dust having a detrimental effect on nearby residents."

Agent Sketcher Partnership Limited has been approached for comment following the withdrawal of the former Palgrave Brown site application.