Housing scheme approved for former Crane Fruehauf site in Dereham

Demolition work is nearing completion on the former Crane Fruehauf depot at South Green in Dereham.

Demolition work is nearing completion on the former Crane Fruehauf depot at South Green in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A scheme to regenerate a depot belonging to one of the county's largest employers has been given the go ahead by councillors.

Developer City and West End Property applied to build 40 homes, public space and an access road as part of the scheme on the old Crane Fruehauf parts and labour site in South Green, Dereham.

Breckland Council's planning committee had previously granted a plan for the site permission in 2009 but it fell through.

As part of the scheme £91,162 would be paid towards off-site affordable housing with further contributions for sports provision, libraries and education.

Phillip Duigan, who is on the planning committee as well as a member of Dereham Town Council, said: 'The view I had and I think a lot of people had is that if there is going to be development this was quite an obvious place.

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'It is a brownfield site, I know it used to be industrial but for the last few years it has been out of use.

'I think a lot of the people living round there would prefer it to be a housing development to a light industrial use.

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'I think the general feeling of the committee was it would be good to bring the site back into use.

'At the moment it is a bit of an ugly quagmire.

'Compared to other proposals we have seen it is fairly close to the centre of town, you could walk it if you wanted.

'I think a lot of people in the town council would prefer to see smaller sites being bought round the town. There are a couple of other brownfield sites around.'

Mr Duigan added that drainage on the site would have to be looked at as part of the scheme as there had been flooding problems at houses in nearby Lynn Hill.

Crane Fruehauf was an internationally renowned trailer manufacturer and the site has been empty since the company collapsed in 2005, with the loss of 345 jobs.

The Crane family had first bought the site in 1913.

What do you think? Write, giving your name address and contact details, to dft.letters@archant.co.uk or to The Community Editor, Dereham and Fakenham Times, Bond House, 31 High Street, Dereham, NR191DZ.

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