A legal challenge to Thetford’s blueprint for growth could cost the taxpayer £100,000, officials have warned.

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Thetford Town Council’s planning committee voted last night (Tuesday) to seek a judicial review into the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP), which centres on building 5,000 new homes to the north of the town and relocating the bus station to a site on Minstergate while regenerating its current Bridge Street location.

The move comes just days after it was found sound by an independent planning inspector.

But Breckland Council executive member for assets and strategic development, Mark Kiddle-Morris, warned taking the issue to the courts would jeopardise future growth in the town and was a “direct threat to the public purse”.

“Breckland Council has spent a considerable amount of officer time and tax payers’ money in the production of this document which has been found exemplary by the government inspector and has his full approval,” he said. “A judicial review at this very late stage could waste over £100,000 of Thetford taxpayers’ money at a time of austerity and would introduce further uncertainty for investors who are keen to come to Thetford.”

Saxon ward town councillor, Terry Jermy, who put forward the motion for a judicial review, said he believed the cost would be around £40,000.

“This is a major plan and if we get it wrong it will affect the town forever,” he said. “The lack of serious commitment to regeneration of the existing housing estates and town centre will create an imbalance. We don’t want a bolt-on for the community, we want to move the whole town forward.”

The motion will go before Thetford Town Council where a final decision will be made, and the costs explored in further detail.

7 comments

  • When are people going to realise that we spend most of our time fighting against our elected representatives who all seem totally against the wishes of the people. Stop voting for them. Get rid of them. Elect independents who only have one interest - the good of the local population.

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    alecto

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

  • I have always said that politics should have no place in local government. We need to build houses and develop infrastructure that is designed to serve the community which will use it. What we don't need is political interference that enforces National policies drawn up by civil servants in London who are totally clueless as to local need or local dangers and gives no consideration to the impact of their plans on the people who will have to live with the developments being thrust on them. Ordinary people are not stupid and do not need civil servants in London planning what is best for them. The only way to stop this madness is to remove the conservatives from County Hall, simple, vote Independent next May and stop the rot! Before Murphy steps in to say the independents in Lynn got nowhere in May 2011 I would remind him that the reasons for that are simple. The Borough Council conservatives promised to fight the incinerator all the way, they had financed the referendum and after the result was known U turned on the incinerator! The ordinary people who stood had less than two months and only their own money to put up their case, unlike the conservative group with massive resources and manpower! Lastly the conservative group lost many, many votes study the election results for 2011 and 2007 to see the difference. 2013 will be a different kettle of fish because large groups of the population are already up in arms and the election is 11 months away.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I am not against moving Thetford Forward but does anyone really believe that an extra 5,000 houses will be an improvement to the town. What Thetford is crying out for is sympathetic development of the town centre that enhances and improves the 'street scape' not the planned monstrosity that Breckland appear to be determined to foist upon us on the Riverside site. It may cost more to design and erect aesthetically pleasing buildings but worth it it the long run as they usually stand the test of time.

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    caroline jacobs

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I presume Jacob Burns feels that Thetford should collectively bend over and take what's coming to them? And he must agree with Bill Borrett (Norfolk County Councillor and Breckland District Councillor) who can't see what the fuss is about and Thetford should count itself lucky to be getting money spent on it? Unfortunately this is 25 years late with hastily drawn up and flawed plans for the Town. This does not mean that I'm stuck in the past and don't want investment - Far from it. I've lived here for over 40 years and have seen the gradual decline and lack of investment so would welcome a turn around in this trend but when plans are submitted for an enterprise park, for instance, with no funding planned for infrastructure to get it off the ground why would people think anything other than all of the plans are half baked and prepared on the back of a fag packet?

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    sjskull

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Here we go again. Moving Thetford Backwards Nothing will ever happen until we clear out the dead wood

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    Jacob Burns

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

  • No doubt the Greater Norwich Development Partnership spent "a considerable amount of officer time and taxpayers' money" on the preparation of its Joint Core Strategy (JCS) and the JCS got past the inspectors appointed to examine it. However, it was still held to be flawed in part by the High Court when SNUB brought its sucessful claim for judicial review.

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    John Martin

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

  • Thank goodness we have a Town Council who are prepared to stand up for Thetford. Breckland Council have ridden roughshod over the views of most of the people ofThetford for too long. Could this be the dawn of a better and brighter future for the Town?

    Report this comment

    caroline jacobs

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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

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