Retail park proposed to be built in Norfolk market town could create more than 200 jobs
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of jobs could be created in Thetford under plans to build a major retail park close to the A11.
Situated on land at the junction of London Road and Caxton Way, and development would consist of six terrace retail units, with the largest unit, including a possible garden centre, likely to be occupied by B&M.
Known as the Breckland Retail Park, there will also be a standalone building which will be used as café or restaurant space.
The Stapleford Group, who submitted the application, have said they believe the development would provide more than 200 permanent jobs.
The company also state they hope it will help to reduce the number of people travelling outside of Thetford to shop.
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Neal Searle, from the Stapleford Group, said: 'The Breckland Retail Park will provide new jobs on a site that has been unused since 2009.
'A significant amount of shopping by Thetford residents is done outside of the town. This scheme has been designed to appeal to retailers who can't find the premises they want in Thetford by providing high quality large units that will make the shopping in Thetford better for residents.'
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The retail park will be on land that was once occupied by the Thermos factory, which closed down in the early 2000s, and was also home to the Tulip meat processing factory - both employed hundreds of people.
The site was demolished last year.
The town council have recommended the application for approval but have asked that a provision for a bus drop-off and pick-up site and heritage signs to the town centre facilities, be included.
A pedestrian crossing on London Road and a cycle lane along the site have been proposed by the applicant.
Mike Brown, vice chairman of the Thetford Business Forum, said he supports the retail park but said it should be balanced up with manufacturing employment land.
He said: 'I can see the advantages of it. I can see the benefits in giving people choice to keep them coming into town and not going to Norwich or Bury St Edmunds.
'But it is important to have a balance between retail and manufacturing. It must be conjoined with what Thetford is good at, which is manufacturing.'
Mr Brown said he did not think it would be detrimental to the town's high street, adding: 'I don't think these retailers would go into town centres anyway.'
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