‘Without public support we wouldn’t have managed it’ - CC Wells says community was key in their battle to get permission to trade
- Credit: Archant
A fruit and vegetable trader has thanked the community for its support after finally being granted permission to sell produce to the public from the company's wholesale warehouse.
CC Wells received an outpouring of support from Dereham residents throughout their two year battle to get approval from Breckland Council after being told that it was against council policy to allow retail from their warehouse on the edge of town.
Darren Pegrum, warehouse and sales manager, said: 'Without the public support we wouldn't have managed to get it over the line. I really believe it was the amount of support that had the impact in getting through to the council.
'We've been overwhelmed by it and we didn't expect it. We're a local company and we have been around for so many years and we've been a part of Dereham for so many years, so we're really grateful for what people did, whether it be writing a letter or going online to write about their support.'
He added: 'It feels like a huge weight lifted from our shoulders and its great that it's over and done with.'
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The company's application to change the use of its Greens Road Industrial Estate warehouse to include retail received 217 letters of support and a supporting petition with around 1,800 signatures.
However, Dereham Town Council objected fearing that it would lead to further applications for retail use in the area.
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Permission was eventually granted on June 12 after CC Wells was able to prove that there were no suitable locations for a shop within the town centre due to lack of parking and delivery areas and the difficulty in creating a temperature controlled environment.
District councillor Harry Clarke was a member of both the planning committee and of the town council but said he didn't agree with the objection.
Mr Clarke said: 'It is quite clear to me that there is a strict separation between the retail use and wholesale use and it was also clear to me from the information provided by Darren, not only that there is a range of retail outlets already selling to the public but more importantly, how this is part of the community. They supply wholesale to small fruit and veg shops, care homes, restaurants, pubs and so on and go as far and Hingham, Norwich and beyond.'
CC Wells warehouse is open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm and they can also be found at Dereham market every Tuesday.