Thetford housing estate set for improvements

The second phase of work to make a housing estate a nicer and safer place to live is set to be begin thanks to funding worth more than �100,000.

The Garages Project on the Barnham Cross estate in Thetford has already included upgrading Fulmerston Road Church, redecoration of the nearby community centre on Pine Close and installing security cameras.

Further works, due to be completed by Christmas, will now involve increasing parking by 30 spaces and landscaping improvements within Elm Road and Ash Close.

The work has been funded with a �125,000 grant by Moving Thetford Forward and led by Flagship Housing. The housing association has also committed to paying for any shortfall in the landscaping and parking works.

Flagship's head of development and asset management Mark Palmer said: 'Flagship is delighted that it can improve facilities and communal spaces on the Barnham Cross estate. Working in partnership with Barnham Cross Action Group and Breckland Council through the Moving Thetford Forward project allows us to make a difference, creating places where people want to live.'

Consultation with people living in and around Ash Close and Elm Road will be held before this summer work begins, on a date yet to be decided. Specific improvements have include two new meeting rooms in Fulmerston Church, a new glass-fronted door to make the building more welcoming and security cameras to the rear in a bid to deter fly-tipping.

Saxon ward councillor Terry Jermy welcomed the works, and added: 'It's something we've been waiting for a long while – it's long overdue.

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'There have been bits and pieces over the years but this is a real significant boost and a step in the right direction.

'There is a big danger with the growth of Thetford and the nice new development, and the skate park and Charles Burrell closing, that everything positive is happening in the north.

'It's crucial the existing estates are included.'

The work is part of a wider aim from the Moving Thetford Forward Team which intends to rengenerate parts of the town and deliver 5,000 new homes by 2026 and 5,000 new jobs by 2021.

This includes plans to move the town's bus station from its Bridge Street site at the town's riverside to Minstergate and create a new leisure and heritage quarter in its place. Meanwhile, a planning application for a skate park off Croxton Road has been submitted, and plans are being led by Thetford Town Council to create a new town square on the High Street, outside Boots.

A consultation on the proposed riverside development will be held today at the Bridge Street car park between 10am and 8pm.