D-day for Dereham shopping revamp plans

Plans for the second phase of Dereham's new shopping development go before councillors on Monday.Dencora - which created 12 shops in the multi-million pound Wrights Walk/Chapel Walk shopping centre - has submitted plans to Breckland Council to build a two-storey retail scheme with two two-bedroom flats on former car parking land opposite QD and the garden of the old Bonds toy shop.

Plans for the second phase of Dereham's new shopping development go before councillors on Monday.

Dencora - which created 12 shops in the multi-million pound Wrights Walk/Chapel Walk shopping centre - has submitted plans to Breckland Council to build a two-storey retail scheme with two two-bedroom flats on former car parking land opposite QD and the garden of the old Bonds toy shop.

The scheme would include 1516 sq metres of shop floorspace and Dereham Chamber of Trade has objected due to the scale of the development, the number of flats proposed and the impact on the town centre, traffic and pedestrian safety and neighbouring listed buildings.

Town councillors have not objected and they welcomed the emphasis of small shops with residential accommodation above but they have called for Dencora to be required to provide toilets and baby changing facilities on the scheme.

Highways officials have raised concerns about the access on to the High Street and they want a planning condition relating to access and parking.

There are also some worries from Breckland's historic buildings officer.

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Breckland planning officers are recommending approval and say the scheme would provide further shop units and “significantly enhance the recently completed High Street retail development by completing the existing one-sided street scenes.”

Officers agree the existing access on to the High Street is restricted and there is limited visibility but there are no practical alternatives and there are some proposed road improvements.

A report to the committee says: “The overall benefits of the proposed development are considered to outweigh its shortcomings in relation to access.”

Councillors will also be recommended to approve demolition of the boundary wall next to the site.

The chamber of trade has objected and there are concerns from the historic buildings officer.

Dencora would be asked to reinstate old wall cobbles wherever possible.

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