Two town centre sites in North Walsham have been ruled out as possible supermarket or other major shop locations by property experts.

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The Vicarage Street car park has failed to attract the interest of developers and retailers.

And Paston Sixth Form College has rejected the possibility of selling off its Lawns site for development, ploughing ahead instead with multi-thousand pound investment plans for improving student facilities on its campus.

The findings will be discussed by North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) cabinet on Monday.

The council commissioned property consultants Aspinall Verdi to investigate the sites’ potential in the hope that a town-centre supermarket or other large multi-national store would attract more shoppers to North Walsham where they would linger and visit other businesses.

The study’s conclusions are likely to bolster the chances of developers Scott Properties whose application for an edge-of-town supermarket and petrol station on Cromer Road is due to be discussed by NNDC planning councillors on March 21.

The findings mean that one major planning obstacle facing Scott Properties - the “sequential” test, showing that no site nearer the town centre was available - has been overcome.

NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick said they would wait for the development committee’s decision on Scott Properties’ application before planning a strategy to try and help the town centre.

This could be based on its future as a service-centred town, or for retail.

Aspinall Verdi found that, although Vicarage Street car park was a financially viable proposition, there was no demand to develop it in the current economic climate.

The consultants contacted 35 multi-national retailers including Argos and Homebase, Brantano, Burger King, McDonalds, New Look, Next, Pizza Hut, Poundland, Primark, River Island, Sports Direct, Starbucks, and TK Maxx.

Only 33pc replied. Comments included North Walsham not having a large enough catchment area and the town having an “unsuitable demographic”.

12 comments

  • Unsuitable demographic... That's one way of putting it. But there is a Waitrose so there must be some nice people there.

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    a fine city

    Monday, March 4, 2013

  • This is damning stuff, nobody seems interested in North Walsham these days. The nails have been well and truly hammered into this particular coffin.

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    NorfolkNincompoop

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • There is no good reason for any o the multiples to go to N Walsham; the coastal towns are more attractive because of the tourist trade whereas N Walsham has a static population with no real reason to visit and no potential for good sales. It's why, despite being the biggest town in N Norfolk, even NNDC prefers to have its HQ at Cromer, with better road links & bringing in more revenue for the local economy.

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    Mr Majika

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • NW is lucky it`s got Sainsbury`s in the town centre . It can`t support any more retail . Getting left behind in the 21st century . Best days are behind it ... I should know , I was born there .

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    dragonfly

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • But seriously, as if any of those High Street names would gamble on opening in a place like North Walsham in the current economic climate. I look forward to seeing what this new 'strategy' will be, but I'm afraid it's too little, way too late. Sad but true.

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    Pete Bogg

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • If any cloud had a silver lining then it's right there - McDonald's don't want to open in North Walsham!

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    Pete Bogg

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • i was hoping if we got a big supermarket on the edge of town we would get things like mcdonalds and primark on the site next to waitrose doesn't look good though.

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    kaz

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • North Walsham, is in the middle of nowhere and shopping wise not worth the visit. There is only one way for this small market town to go and that is downward, its a lost cause.

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    Farquarson-Smythe

    Monday, March 4, 2013

  • The reason North Walsham has too small a catchment area is because the roads are rubbish. The A149, towards Cromer, turns into a cart track just after the turn to Antingham and becomes even worse in the other direction just before Worstead. The B1150 to Norwich is particularly bad until you get to the Badersfield junction. The roads to the coast are frighteningly hazardous and the road to Aylsham - well what can you say? Does anyone really bother to maintain it? Will it ever be improved? North Walsham is a town with potential but is stuck in the middle of nowhere. Until somebody makes some commitment to improve the road links it is doomed to decline.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • They should get in touch with BDC. They know how to fill a new town development with low grade cr@p, just look at Dereham.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • The catchment area can't be that bad and the retail potential must be there, otherwise why would any of the main supermarket giants be considering operating the Scott Properties proposal for a 60,000sq ft Superstore? They should know.

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    Walsham Boy

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • "North Walsham not having a large enough catchment area" - exactly what I was saying in the other report where my views were dismissed. So Scott Properties might get planning permission but selling it, which they have yet to do, to the likes of Tesco, Asda or Morrisons will be a lot more difficult, if not impossible.

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Friday, March 1, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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