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Jewson closes Norfolk branch prompting housing concern

PUBLISHED: 16:06 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 05 July 2019

Jewson's site on Westfield Road in Dereham. Picture: Google

Jewson's site on Westfield Road in Dereham. Picture: Google

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A Norfolk branch of a builders merchant has closed down - potentially unlocking even more new housing in an expanding town.

George Freeman MP speaking at the official opening of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian BurtGeorge Freeman MP speaking at the official opening of The Blue Lion pub in North Pickenham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Westfield Road branch of Jewson in Dereham has ceased trading, and the one-and-a-half acre site has been placed on the market for offers exceeding £500,000.

And with an application recently lodged to build 24 homes on the former Palgrave Brown site next door, it is possible the land could be put to the same use, joining a growing number of homes on the way in the Toftwood area.

Last month, mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman wrote to Breckland Council expressing worry over the level of development already touted for the town.

He said: "There is widespread upset about the levels of development that have taken place and are continuing to take place in Dereham.

"The fact that several parts of the town regularly come to a standstill at peak times of the day because of congestion is well known and a source of great frustration for many."

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Tony Needham, town clerk, added that Dereham Town Council has concerns over the potential loss of employment land.

However Phil Duigan, Breckland councillor for Dereham, said he could see some merit in the site potentially going to residential use.

He said: "It has always been a bit of an anomaly that Jewson has two sites in Dereham and the area surrounding Westfield Road has become far more residential in recent times.

"From that perspective, the site is probably better suited to being residential than other sites, so it would not be that surprising if that is where it heads.

"However I do think there is a general concern that there is not enough industrial land in Dereham, so we need to look at whether this can be offered elsewhere."

A spokesman for Jewson said: "We are continually reviewing our branch network to make sure it is best able to meet the changing needs of our customers.

"Customers can continue to trade with Jewson and access our full range by visiting our nearby branch in Greens Road, Dereham.

"This decision did unfortunately affect three colleagues. We were able to redeploy two colleagues to Greens Road but unfortunately it did result in one colleague being made redundant."

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