'Bold new vision' revealed for the future of Dereham
- Credit: Breckland Council
A pedestrianised town centre, more green space and improvements to the high street are among a raft of changes included in a "bold vision" for Dereham.
The draft plan sets out a number of short and long term proposals for the market town which aim to enhance the town’s position as a "community, cultural and economic hub".
Among the proposals are suggestions to reconfigure the town centre, create more green spaces, improve the area's sustainable travel infrastructure and improve Dereham's high street offering.
It has been put together by economic specialists Hatch, with urban regeneration experts, We Made That, after being commissioned by Breckland Council as part of the ongoing Future Breckland initiative.
The programme is also being backed by Norfolk County Council and local town councils and was drawn up on feedback received during public engagement sessions.
Short-term suggestions put forward in the plan include: installing enhanced public seating areas; adopting a community toilet scheme and putting in place improved traditional and electronic signage and maps.
There are also bids to create more green spaces, hold local events and art trails and the installation of electric vehicle charging points.
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While longer-term initiatives include pedestrianising the central marketplace, changing traffic flow in the town and upgrading the existing Breckland Business Centre.
There are also long-term proposals to create a new area in the centre of Dereham to "offer more housing for new families and our older generation alike, while also addressing a need for diverse workspaces, community areas and greenery, to make Dereham a truly modern market town".
Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s executive member for economic development and growth, said: “The plans being created as part of the Future Breckland programme will help us achieve a shared vision that is driven by our residents and supported by a range of local bodies.
"Having everybody pulling in the same direction will make turning the proposals into a reality more deliverable and put us in a stronger position to bid for national and regional funding to invest in our district.”
To view the draft Dereham plan, submit comments, or find out about engagement events visit: www.breckland.gov.uk/Future-Breckland
The five long term plans
Reconfiguring the town centre - By pedestrianising the central marketplace, changing traffic flow in the town, and brightening the shop fronts the town centre could attract more people and encourage them to spend more time in the town – and more money with local businesses.
Improving the high street offer -Introducing new services and facilities to the town centre to "strengthen Dereham’s position as a community hub and bring communities together".
Strengthening the local economy - By upgrading the existing Breckland Business Centre and other employment sites, it is hoped the town could "embrace modern ways of working that meets the changing and emerging needs of out-of-office workers, freelancers and small businesses".
Create a new mixed-use quarter - A new area in the centre of Dereham could be created to offer more housing for new families and our older generation alike, while also addressing a need for diverse workspaces, community areas and greenery, to make Dereham a "truly modern market town".
Improving sustainable travel infrastructure - By enhancing sustainable travel routes across the town and considering bicycle parking facilities, new connections could be made between parts of the town and greener travel options could be unlocked.