PICTURE GALLERY: Public consultation reveals latest plans for Holt supermarket

The latest plans to overhaul a site on the outskirts of Holt have been revealed this week as part of a public consultation.

Development group Norwood Property are behind the dream to bring another supermarket to the Georgian town at the Thaxters timber and DIY yard site, off Old Station Way.

Partner Tim Schofield said the four-day consultation had already seen hundreds of people walk through the doors of the town's Community Centre yesterday and today to share their views.

'On [Tuesday] we had more than 200 people come and view the plans and we have received lots of positive comments already,' he said.

'Most people's concerns are over who will occupy the foodstore.'

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The total size of the store would be 15,000sq ft (1,395sq m) with a sales area of 11,000sq ft (1,022sq m) - approximately three quarters of the size of the town centre's existing supermarket, Bugdens of Holt.

The building would include 10 check-outs, including self-service machines, a staff room, an office, a training room and public toilets

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And if the plans go ahead it is estimated the store would create circa 100 full and part time jobs, with training opportunities.

Mr Schofield, who was at the consultation, emphasised that due to its size the store would be offering mostly food goods and envisioned it would not impact on the non-food retailers in the town

The plans also mean that the existing building - the former flour mill - would be demolished to make way for 'a building of architectural quality and historic merit that will be relevant to the town without being over bearing.'

'The existing buildings are no longer fit for purpose,' he said.

'The old flour mill has structural defects and, whilst it is a prominent building, it is not capable of being retained.'

The group intend to create a building influenced by the architecture of the Midland and Great Northern Railway (MGNR), which was located on the current bypass until 1963, west of the junction with Hempstead Road.

Norwood have already consulted members of the Holt Society, Holt Town Council, The Holt Museum Trust and North Norfolk District Council's planning department, and obtained original MGNR architectural plans showing the style of Holt's former railway station.

Mr Schofield said: 'These plans have been kindly supplied by the archive department of the Midland and Great Northern Railway Circle and our plans will have their full input.'

It is proposed that the roof plan, elevations and brick detailing would use the same colour scheme as the MGNR and Norwood would provide a historical archive of the site, including past occupiers and uses, which would be displayed on boards within the proposed store.

Proposed materials to be used include timber cladding, red clay tiles for the roof and heritage style red bricks.

Around 75 to 80 car parking spaces would also be created, with at least five made into disabled spaces, and would offer free parking for two hours - allowing shoppers time to use the store and walk into town.

Vehicle access would remain the same but would include the re-introduction of another junction as part of a proposed delivery area for lorries and staff car parking.

? The public consultation will continue tomorrow and Thursday from 5pm-7.30pm at the Holt Youth Project centre, off Old Station Way, and the plans will be displayed with partners from Norwood available to answer questions and take suggestions.

? To see the proposed plans in details please click on the photo gallery in the top right-hand corner.

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