Drop-in centre plans for North Walsham discussed

St Nicholas Court shopping precinct, North Walsham. 1a is the One Stop Advice Shop on the left. Pict

St Nicholas Court shopping precinct, North Walsham. 1a is the One Stop Advice Shop on the left. Picture: SUBMITTED. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Proposals for a town centre building to be used as drop-in advice centre for people recovering from alcohol and drug problems have been put under the spotlight.

Plans to use the former Connexions youth service building in St Nicholas Court North Walsham as a place for counselling and support were discussed by North Norfolk District Council's planning committee on Thursday .

Councillors voted to give planning officers delegated authority to approve the plans subject to no objections from the police architectural liaison officer.

North Walsham Town Council had raised objections to the plans and offered the suggestion that the building could be made into an indoor market in a bid to attract trade into the town.

North Walsham town mayor Dave Robertson, said at the meeting: 'This will do nothing to improve the viability of the precinct.' He also asked that if the plans were to be approved that stringent conditions were put in place to reduce any loitering or anti-social behaviour there may be around the area.

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A spokeswoman for Norfolk Recovery Partnership (NRP) who run the drop-in scheme, the said: 'It is a very ideal use for our service users it is very central. There is not going to be any strangers loitering.'

In January the same committee gave approval for the same building to be used as place of worship by the New Life Church – despite local concerns that the site should be a shop to help bring more people into the courtyard which has suffered a string of closures in recent years.

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