Have your say on £750,000 project to improve town centre

The thoroughfare, Harleston. Picture: Ian Carstairs

The thoroughfare, Harleston. Picture: Ian Carstairs - Credit: Ian Carstairs

People are being asked to have their say on a £750,000 project to improve a market town's centre.

Views are being sought on a scheme that is said will "reinforce the priorities of reducing through traffic", improve the environment for shopping, and provide places for residents and visitors to enjoy leisure time in Harleston.

The scheme, which will be funded by South Norfolk Council (SNC), Norfolk County Council and Harleston Town Council, stems from the need accelerated during the pandemic, SNC says. 

And a multi-stakeholder project board has produced a plan for a "more permanent series of improvements."

Suggested changes to the Market Place, Exchange Street, the Thoroughfare and Broad Street will see relocation of some parking places to give "more direct access to retail areas."


You may also want to watch:


Plans also include making the town centre safer for pedestrians with reduced carriageways to slow traffic and wider pavements, and to improve the streetscape with planters and benches.

John Fuller, SNC leader, said south Norfolk has received its share of the extra business rates paid by expanding businesses across Norfolk, which will be invested with some of the extra council tax paid by occupiers of new homes to help Harleston "move with the times."

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller. Picture: ROSE SAPEY - Credit: Rose Sapey

Most Read

He added: "We have invested in Diss’s market triangle and in Wymondham and Long Stratton with town centre improvements and sporting facilities. Now it’s Harleston’s turn."

Simon Marjoram, who runs All Things Greener, said there needs to be parking in the town centre and "careful consideration" of parking times which differ.

"It's a real muddle", he added.

It comes after controversial coronavirus-related road closures last year which were put in place to help with social distancing.

Simon Marjoram, who runs All Things Greener, has slammed the road closures in Harleston as "terrible

Simon Marjoram, who runs All Things Greener, said he hopes the plans have a long-term view. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

Mr Marjoram said: "Last year was a real nightmare for us as a town. I would love there to be a much longer-term view on this as it affects transport."

But the ideas have been welcomed by Robin Twigge, owner of The Swan Hotel, who said it could drive up tourism, enhance "the ambience of the town" and make it more commercial.

Robin Twigge, owner of The Swan Hotel in Harleston, says his business is suffering following the clo

Robin Twigge, owner of The Swan Hotel, welcomed the ideas, hoping the town centre will become more pedestrianised. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Consultation on the project will open on September 23 and people will be able to see the proposed plans and share their views at the Carvery at the Swan Hotel on September 25 and Wednesday 29.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter