New £6.9m Norfolk retail park with Greggs, B&M and Home Bargains is completed
PUBLISHED: 12:06 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 26 June 2019
A £6.9m retail park at the edge of a Norfolk town has been completed, creating 200 jobs.
The Breckland Retail Park, in London Road, Thetford, has five retail units, three of which have been taken on by B&M, Home Bargains, and Greggs.
The near 70,000sq ft space, near the Kingsfleet development, where 5,000 homes are being built, also has a terrace and separate building for a cafe.
Thetford town councillor Terry Jermy welcomes the development but warns more will need to be done to promote the high street.
Mr Jermy said: "I welcome the new jobs that the retail park brings to Thetford and the increase in choice now available for shoppers. It is also pleasing to see a redundant site turned into something useful and positive.
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"That said, developments such as this do put added pressure on the viability of the town centre and the powers that be, notably Breckland Council, need to be much more focused on ensuring our town centre prospers, despite the rise of out of town centre shopping opportunities."
But the developers Urban Edge Architecture (UEA), who completed the retail park on behalf of Stapleford BRP Ltd, say it should keep people in the town.
Ian Townsend, of UEA, said: "The development regenerates a prominent brownfield site and creates an appropriate architectural response to a semi-rural setting.
"In addition to providing some 200 jobs, the development increases the retail choice in Thetford, making the town more attractive as a shopping destination and more sustainable by encouraging local people to shop in the town, rather than travelling to Norwich or Bury St Edmunds."
During the construction, UEA teamed up with contractor, RTS Construction Group, to host an open day at the park for pupils from years 10 to 13 to provide an insight into the 'built environment'.
Teams from Thetford Grammar and Thetford Academy played the roles of architect, civil engineer and construction manager in various activities to give them an insight into how a large-scale project is completed.
In conjunction with the development, UEA had to provide a short section of the London Road cycle path, which runs between Caxton Way to Forest Retail Park.