Green light for greens? Dereham fruit and veg trader CC Wells looks set to get approval for warehouse sales

CC Wells warehouse on Greens Road Industrial Estate, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

CC Wells warehouse on Greens Road Industrial Estate, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A market trader could soon be granted permission to sell fresh fruit and vegetables to the public from his Dereham warehouse after proving a town centre shop would not be viable.

CC Wells market stall in Dereham's town centre. Picture: Ian Burt

CC Wells market stall in Dereham's town centre. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

An application by CC Wells to change use of its Greens Road Industrial Estate warehouse to include retail goes back before Breckland planners on Monday and this time it is recommended for approval.

CC Wells is a regular trader on markets across the county. Owner Darren Pegrum also sells wholesale from his storage warehouse.

But when this became increasingly popular for sales to the public he applied to Breckland Council to change to mixed use - storage, wholesale and retail.

At a meeting in December the planning committee was recommended to refuse the application on grounds that Mr Pegrum was unable to demonstrate that there were no suitable sites within the town centre to operate a retail shop.

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A report to the council said retail uses should be located within the town centre to protect General Employment Areas for employment use and asked him to prove there were no suitable sites.

The application received 217 letters of support and a petition of support was submitted with around 1,800 signatures. There were five letters of objection and the town council also objected saying it would 'not want a change of use from wholesale to retail as once the principle of retail had been established it would be difficult to object to further applications for retail use in that area'.

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But a new deferred item report to planners for Monday's meeting says that Mr Pegrum has provided a Sequential Test, 'which highlights a number of premises within Dereham Town Centre and the reasons why these are unsuitable for the retail sale of fresh fruit and vegetables'.

It said Mr Pegrum's evidence showed the premises were either too big or too small, with inadequate access, lack of parking/delivery areas and difficult to achieve a refrigerated/temperature controlled environment.

The report concludes: 'It is considered that the proposed change of use to a mixed use for storage and wholesale and retail sale of fresh fruit and vegetables would not undermine the function of the wider employment area and is therefore deemed acceptable.'

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