Tribunal to decide on Thetford market place


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

A dispute over ownership of a market place will be settled by a tribunal after the councils involved failed to reach an agreement.

Both Thetford Town Council and Breckland Council believe they own the Market Place in Thetford and the disagreement dates back to the Local Government Act 1972.

The town council says that because the market place had a dual usage as a car park it would have remained in the town's ownership when rules changed.

The town council says Breckland officers had presented it a solution which would have seen them lease the car-park area from Breckland.

The town council had agreed to the deal, to try to keep down legal costs for both authorities. However, members were informed at their last full council meeting that Breckland had changed its mind.

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Instead the final decision will be made by a tribunal.

Town councillors said it was a 'shame' that a compromise could not be agreed upon as they had hoped to continue their recent excellent relationship with Breckland Council which they said 'has only just seen partnership working start to flourish'.

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A spokesman for Breckland said: 'This matter concerns a difference of opinion between the two councils as to the ownership of this car park.

'The council has taken legal advice and based upon that legal advice is acting to protect the interests of the council and the council-tax payers of Breckland.

'A number of options were explored by the two councils as part of the ongoing negotiations but agreement could not be reached.'

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