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Old hospital site cleared ready for new development

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:50 24 July 2020

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built, archaeologists including Gary Trimble (right), project manager from Witham Archaeology, have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily Thomson

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built, archaeologists including Gary Trimble (right), project manager from Witham Archaeology, have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily Thomson

Archant

The site of a former Norfolk hospital has been cleared, as developers prepare to build new homes.

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Photo: Emily ThomsonSouth Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Photo: Emily Thomson

The old Cottage Hospital, in Earls Street, Thetford, has now been demolished and work to build nine Victorian style terrace houses is set to begin in the autumn.

South Norfolk Developments say the homes will take 12 months to complete and will transform the road which was previously described as an “eyesore”.

MORE: Former Norfolk hospital ‘eyesore’ given go-ahead to become homes

CEO Dennis Bacon said: “Getting to where we are now has taken a lot of time, there was a lot sensitivity with demolishing the building.

“But it was standing there 10 years derelict and in an awful state, but now Thetford will have something to be proud of.

Dennis Bacon CEO of South Norfolk Developments. Photo: Dennis BaconDennis Bacon CEO of South Norfolk Developments. Photo: Dennis Bacon

“We have spent a lot of money on the demolition, over £100,000 clearing the site.

“All of Earls Street will be transformed and every single occupier will have a private car parking space.

“Inside the houses it will be very open plan, light and airy. You’ll enter what you think is an old Victorian building but inside it will be very modern and contemporary.”

Six houses, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, will stand along Earls Street, with three more terrace houses located behind, all with parking and private gardens.

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Photo: Emily ThomsonSouth Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Photo: Emily Thomson

South Norfolk Developments has also converted Oddfellows Hall, next to the former hospital site, into nine “luxury” apartments, which is set to have its first open day next week.

MORE: Right on cue: Developer transforms old Norfolk snooker hall into fashionable flats

Mr Bacon added: “It’s about respecting Thetford’s history, that’s really important.

“We are aware of that and we know we must not overdevelop and whatever we build has to be in keeping with the town.

“What we do is not about growth, we are looking at regeneration and regenerating local assets.“

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built archaeologists have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily ThomsonSouth Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built archaeologists have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily Thomson

As part of planning permission, and in keeping with the town’s rich history, this week the site has seen archaeologists searching for artefacts or medieval builds, before any work can go ahead.

Gary Trimble, project manager from Witham Archaeology, said: “The council dictates what we do and they have justified us coming here because they think medieval defences come along the line of earl street, but nobody is sure.

“So far, we have found no evidence of that whatsoever and in-fact we haven’t found any medieval artefacts.

“We think this was open land where they came and quarried chalk. On the edge of medieval Thetford.”

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built, archaeologists including Gary Trimble (right), project manager from Witham Archaeology, have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily ThomsonSouth Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street. Before new houses can be built, archaeologists including Gary Trimble (right), project manager from Witham Archaeology, have been searching for artefacts and medieval builds. Photo: Emily Thomson

South Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street, next to Oddfellows Hall. SND have also converted the building into nine luxury apartments. Photo: Emily ThomsonSouth Norfolk Developments have cleared the site of the former hospital in Thetford, on Earls Street, next to Oddfellows Hall. SND have also converted the building into nine luxury apartments. Photo: Emily Thomson

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