Plea for public support as £150,000 to be spent on Thetford Enterprise Park delivery plan
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
A plea has been made for wider public support for development on a greenfield site in Thetford, which has had a further £150,000 pumped into a delivery plan.
A number of attempts have been made in the past 30 years to support development on the Thetford Enterprise Park (TEP), located on the northern side of town adjacent to the A11 dual carriageway, but issues surrounding power and water supply and access have thwarted potential plans.
But Breckland Council's cabinet committee has committed to spending £150,000 on a delivery plan to 'unlock the site', which has been allocated for employment use since 1989.
Although aware of the criticisms the scheme has faced in the past, councillors were adamant the site would bring opportunities and benefits to not only the people of Thetford but also the county.
It is thought to bring 1,300 jobs to the area and some £1.5m has already been spent on constructing a new access roundabout on Mundford Road.
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Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, deputy leader and executive member for corporate strategy and investment, said: 'Many critics would say 'is this the right thing to be doing?' I am absolutely adamant it's the right thing to be doing.
'This shows confidence in the district and, more importantly, in the county.'
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The delivery plan, of which £75,000 will be funded through the Norfolk business rates pool and another £75,000 through the council's own growth and investment fund, will focus on developing a strategy based around the TEP's relationship to the adjacent Thetford Kingsfleet housing development.
This will include a detailed feasibility study, costings and project plan to extend the electricity and water supply from the housing development to the TEP employment site.
Councillor Terry Jermy told the cabinet that more effort had to be made with public relations and marketing to garner public support for the scheme, adding: 'We need to do more as a council to sell that.
'It's closer now to being delivered, I am of the opinion that it is better to try and fail than not try at all.'
Councillor Philip Cowen added: 'I think this is an absolute must for Norfolk and Breckland, we have moved it so far forward we need to convince the people of Thetford that it's a good idea.'