Final consultation to be undertaken on future of Thetford Market Place

Thetford's Market Place during a night market

Thetford's Market Place during a night market in 2014. - Credit: Archant

A final consultation on the future of Thetford Market Place will take place to get people's views on ideas for the area.

Thetford Town Council discussed options for the town's Market Place at a full council meeting last month, which included whether or not to close the car park or to develop it into a space for events, with the exception of weekly markets and council events.

Stuart Wright, lead councillor on the working group for the plans, said they are putting together a consultation for the new year.

The incident happened in Market Place in Thetford. Picture Denise Bradley.

Thetford Market Place. - Credit: �Archant Photographic 2011

He said: "We did consultation in 2018 and there was positive feedback from that, with people saying they would like it to be used for events.

"In the meantime, we've had the pandemic and the use of the space by Wetherspoons for tables.

"We're working on what we envision for what we would like to happen to the Market Place."

Councillors voted in favour of carrying out further public consultation and to reopen the Market Place as a car park while it takes place.

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At October's meeting, Brenda Canham said previous consultation showed that people wanted it closed and used for "activities to take place".

She added: "Do we totally ignore that now and go forward?

"I don't know why we do surveys, plan out what we do and then we stop it. I'm confused."

Councillor Roy Brame said they got less than 150 responses, with the majority in favour of an open space rather than a car park.

He added: "It has never been a revolving parking place.

"We haven't had it as a car park for 18 months.

Norfolk County Councillor for Thetford West, Roy Brame.

Roy Brame. - Credit: Archant

"I think this town now deserves a pedestrianised space, somewhere where we can put on events and let people sit and relax.

"We have to make it a place that people want to come to, a destination."

But councillor Terry Jermy said he has been against the closure of the market square, adding the "availability of the car park is a priority".

Norfolk County Councillor Terry Jermy. Picture: Conor Matchett

Terry Jermy. - Credit: Archant

On its website, the council said the car park will continue to be closed every Tuesday and Saturday from 6am to 4pm for the weekly market.

It intends to give 'final approval' over plans for the future use of the Market Place by spring next year.

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