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Petrol stations and motel plans

PUBLISHED: 13:55 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:47 07 July 2010

Work may begin next year on building a pair of petrol stations, motels and restaurants by the A47 near Dereham - more than 14 years after planning permission was first granted.

Work may begin next year on building a pair of petrol stations, motels and restaurants by the A47 near Dereham - more than 14 years after planning permission was first granted.

Two identical schemes are planned for either side of Norfolk's main east-west road, and businessman Vince Somers, who owns the land, has now submitted applications to Breckland Council to extend planning permission for the project.

His agent, Ray Middleton, of Yarmouth-based Middleton and George Ltd, said: “It is a renewal of an application that was approved previously. Presumably work may start next year.”

He added that the renewal was needed because there had been delays in receiving approval from the Highways Agency for the project at North Tuddenham.

Motor Fuel Ltd, which has many petrol stations that trade under the BP brand, wants to open the filling stations on either side of the A47 and this would be the first phase of the twin developments.

Seven full-time staff and six part-time staff would be employed at each petrol station which is planned to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On each side of the A47 there are also plans for a 20-bedroom motel, and a restaurant that could be used by passing motorists and motel guests.

Mr Somers' application says the buildings will only be one storey high and the design will be based on traditional farm buildings and use materials such as soft red facing bricks and clay pantile roofing.

In the early 1990s the stretch of land near the A47 was so sought after that five firms battled to win approval for roadside service stations.

All of the schemes were initially rejected by Breckland Council and a three-year planning battle followed, including a challenge in the High Court.

Eventually in 1994 Roadside Developments was granted permission to build two roadside stations by an inspector after a public inquiry.

But work was never started despite outline permission being renewed a number of times.

Mr Somers, of Merton, near Watton, then bought the site and in 2006 applied to Breckland for permission to do the project.

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