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Major revamp for estate which is home to thousands clears crucial hurdle

PUBLISHED: 12:43 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 04 November 2019

The Abbey Estate in Thetford. Pic: Sonya Duncan
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The Abbey Estate in Thetford. Pic: Sonya Duncan ;.

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A potential major revamp at a Norfolk housing estate which is home to thousands of people has moved a significant step nearer - after three organisations agreed to work together to bring about changes.

Thetford's Abbey estate. Pic: Emily Thomson.Thetford's Abbey estate. Pic: Emily Thomson.

The Abbey Estate in Thetford could be in for transformation after Norfolk County Council, Breckland District Council and Flagship Housing agreed a memorandum of understanding to work towards changes one councillor said would have a "fundamental impact" on people living there.

Flagship Housing owns 670 of the 1,178 homes on the estate and today saw the two councils agree to work in unison, with the community, to forge a better future for the estate.

Exactly what changes would be made, what it might cost or where the money would come from is not yet clear, with Flagship Housing keen to be directed by the community.

But Conservative Norfolk county councillor Bill Borrett, speaking at the County Hall cabinet meeting where the authority agreed to put £100,000 into a development budget for the changes, said: "The Abbey Estate was built in the 1960s and was considered cutting edge at the time.

Breckland district councillor Sam Chapman-Allen is taking part in the council's programme of events for Local Democracy Week.Breckland district councillor Sam Chapman-Allen is taking part in the council's programme of events for Local Democracy Week.

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"But there are challenges in the layout of the estate and this is a really important piece of urban regeneration. It will have a fundamental impact on the lives of the people who live on the estate - for the better."

Peter Hawes, chair of Flagship Group, said: "It's fantastic to see organisations coming together to create real change within Thetford.

"By working together, sharing skills, knowledge and expertise, we'll be able to help tackle more of the issues identified and we're delighted to be working with residents to unlock the full potential of the local area."

Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland District Council, said: "Our cabinet welcomed Flagship Group's desire to deliver positive change in Thetford.

"Members were supportive of this ambition and recognised that rarely is one organisation in a position to deliver change in isolation."

Flagship has already been talking to people on the Abbey Estate and there will be another chance at a drop-in session at the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre from 2pm until 6pm on Tuesday, November 19.

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