Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman sets out to create new vision for future of Dereham

George Freeman MP wants to create a new vision for Dereham

George Freeman MP wants to create a new vision for Dereham - Credit: Hilary Gauthier

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman is calling on businesses, schools and groups in the Dereham area to tell him what they feel are their top priorities for the future development of the town.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

He is sending a letter to over 250 different organisations as he says 'the voice of local business is crucial' to create a new vision for the town which he believes has an exciting future.

Jobs, traffic, parking, services and drainage are all key areas that need debate, he says, to create a vision which reflects longer term growth and needs and will empower councillors to oppose inappropriate development and prioritise the projects local shop keepers and those who use the town most want to see.

In his letter he writes: 'With traffic volumes increasing and the levels of congestion at peak times, pressure on services and infrastructure has become very difficult and potentially unsustainable.

'Many businesses and shops in Dereham are very concerned about access in and around the town centre - despite the excellent decision by Breckland not to implement parking charges, as most other local councils have.

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'I wanted to ask whether you agree with me that it would be sensible for Dereham to have a vision for the town which reflects its longer term growth and needs.

'We need the jobs, incomes and taxes that businesses generate and the right mix of retail, light industrial, hospitality and service jobs.

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'With a town vision we can influence the shape of Dereham for our children and ensure we get the development we need and want.'

He suggests developing a plan for traffic, a possible A47 link road to the south of the town, a plan for the town centre, and parking as well as local services.

Mr Freeman says that with Breckland due to consult on its District Plan the need for a town vision for Dereham is ever more urgent and plans to hold a non-party political summit next month in the town for people to discuss the most important priorities for the town over the next 20 years.

He said: 'By working together I believe we can help to plan for a long term vision we can all be proud of.'

* What do you think the main priorities are for Dereham over the next 20 years? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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