Action agreed over new shopping scheme

IAN CLARKE A twin-track approach of negotiation with the option of legal action has been agreed by Breckland Council to ensure the second phase of Dereham's new shopping development is built.

IAN CLARKE

A twin-track approach of negotiation with the option of legal action has been agreed by Breckland Council to ensure the second phase of Dereham's new shopping development is built.

The authority is eager to see land bordering Wrights Walk and Chapel Walk used for more shops and retain the town's position as the fourth most successful retail centre in Norfolk.

Prolonged talks have been going on with Gorgate Ltd and Gary Cheung, who both own land on the site and it had been hoped an agreement could be reached.

But stumbling blocks remain over compensation payments.

Yesterday Breckland's cabinet agreed to the process of compulsorily purchasing the land if the stalement cannot be resolved.

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Chartered surveyor Derek Ardern, who is acting for Mr Cheung, said Breckland needed to properly compensate him for two garages the authority wants to buy.

He said Mr Cheung needed to be left “in the same position after the acquisition than before.”

Sally Cross, of Gorgate Ltd, said they “couldn't possibly” buy any similar land with the amount Breckland had offered.

Gorgate has put an application in for a mix of flats and shops on the part of the land it owns and it is due to be discussed by the development control committee on February 19 and income from it would go towards a brain tumour trust in memory of Mrs Cross' late husband Brian.

Breckland's executive member for economic regeneration Adrian Stasiak said: “The development will help us bring increased spending into Dereham and retain the town's position as the fourth most successful shopping centre in Norfolk.

“We regret that we have been unable to reach an agreement with all the landowners so far. It we continue to be unable to reach agreement and the land is acquired by compulsory purchase compensation will be paid.”