Expansion plan still on the cards for Chattels of Dereham

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Pictured are (from left) Bridgette Hall, Christine Todd and

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Pictured are (from left) Bridgette Hall, Christine Todd and Debbie Bennington. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The boarding has come down around the plot of land in Dereham next to the Chattels department store to reveal a gravel car park.

Basil Todd with Palmers on Norwich Street in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Basil Todd with Palmers on Norwich Street in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

But the store owners have said that they are still planning to extend onto the area on Norwich Street in the long term.

Chattels was very much the vision of businessman Basil Todd who bought the former Palmers department store in 2014 and began its complete renovation and transformation.

But he was unable to see it come to fruition as he died after losing a cancer battle last August.

His daughters Debbie Bennington and Bridgette Hall took over his business affairs - which also include the Wensum Valley Hotel and Country Club at Taverham - and opened Chattels in October.

Mr Todd had also been granted planning permission to extend the store onto the neighbouring site, which was formerly a bank and charity shop, but which were demolished after a fire.

His initial plan was for an upmarket food store on the ground floor and extending the clothing ranges upstairs.

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But with his daughters concentrating their efforts on getting Chattels open their father's planning permission for the extension has nearly expired.

Mrs Hall said they had new plans ready for the site but there would be a delay in this stage of the development.

'The current planning permission runs out next month,' she said. 'New plans are ready but cannot be submitted until my late father's estate has been finalised.

'Breckland Council have agreed that this (land) can be used as free customer car park for Chattels customers on a temporary basis until the new plans can be realised.

'In the short term I think it improves the area but the long term plan is still to extend the store onto this area.'

* What do you think Dereham needs on this site? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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