Green light for new McDonald’s in Dereham

The former Cemex site in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

The former Cemex site in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A big-name development proposal which could have a lasting impact on Dereham's economy has been given the green light.

Breckland councillors yesterday approved plans to revive the redundant Cemex site, near the Tesco roundabout, with a McDonald's drive-through, a Marston's gastro-pub and a 51-bed hotel.

The scheme, put forward by Dereham businessman Andrew Scales, is expected to create 150 jobs and will help bring improvements to the Yaxham Road level crossing.

It is also hoped it will act as a catalyst for other multi-national brands to invest in the town.

Phillip Duigan, Breckland councill for Dereham Toftwood, said: 'This is a great vote of confidence for Dereham which I think is important.

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'This is a local man investing in the town and bringing in national chains which are showing confidence in Dereham. It's good for the future of the town and I think the location is perfect.'

William Richmond, Breckland councillor for Dereham Neatherd, added: 'The job creation and the inward investment that will result from this application are to be warmly welcomed.'

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The hybrid application was given full planning permission for the take-away and pub, and outline permission for the hotel.

It is expected that Marston's would employ 25 full-time and 35 part-time workers at the site, McDonald's would have 45 full-timers and 20 part-timers while the hotel would employ 23 full-time and four part time staff.

It is currently not known which company will take on the hotel but developers yesterday said the firm which had earmarked the site had withdrawn.

During yesterday's meeting, some concerns were raised about the amount of noise, litter and traffic the new development could generate.

Paul Claussen, Breckland councillor for Two Rivers, said: 'This development is very, very welcome but I think the highways agency has got it totally wrong. The road from Tesco over the level crossing is gridlocked for far too many times during the day. If this site is going to go through, we need the road to work around it.'

The proposals hit delays last month when the Mid Norfolk Railway raised concerns over the safety of the nearby level crossing on Yaxham Road.

But the concerns were overcome by an offer of a £15,000 contribution to upgrade the 'sub-standard' crossing.

Work on the new development is expected to get under way as soon as legal agreements surrounding the level crossing are finalised.

Dereham town mayor Kate Millbank said the scheme's go-ahead was 'great news'. 'It's more employment and will tidy up that area,' she said.

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