Thetford Town Centre MasterPlan
Meeting: 18/06/2013 - Cabinet (Item 46)
Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.
Please note that the Thetford Town Master Plan (Development Framework and Delivery Plan) is attached as a separate document due to its size and colour content.
The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report that asked Members to consider the outcome of the Thetford Town Centre Masterplanning process and to agree that the Thetford Town Centre Masterplan be adopted as a Council document to coordinate investment and regeneration activity in Thetford town centre.
It was noted that Norfolk County Council had not part funded this Masterplan.
A presentation was provided by the Joint Deputy Planning Manager and the Growth Programme Manager.
The Thetford Town Centre Masterplan work followed a number of studies and plans commissioned and prepared in the last decade that had sought to promote developments within the town centre. Following a robust and transparent procurement process, Allies and Morrison – Urban Practitioners had been appointed as consultants for the Masterplan and the delivery framework. A key stakeholder consultation event had been held early on in the process attended by an array of representatives from Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council, Thetford Town Council, retailers, businesses and local groups. The Masterplan had responded to all the issues and opportunities that had been identified from the event.
In terms of the process, the Baseline report had identified that traditional methods of delivery would be unlikely to happen. Thetford was going to have to concentrate on changing the area from retail to leisure activities within the town centre.
Sections of the Masterplan on the supplementary agenda were highlighted.
The Growth Programme Manager gave a detailed explanation on the transport section.
Questions were then invited.
The Vice-Chairman referred to the Masterplan status and asked if the Masterplan document would hold any weight in the planning process. He also asked where the funding was coming from. In response to the first question, the Joint Deputy Planning Manager explained that the adopted Masterplan document would not hold full weight in the planning process unlike the Local Development Framework and the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP); however, it would be of material consideration in the planning process alongside the TAAP. In terms of the funding available, there were a number of legal agreements/S106 agreements through planning to deliver the Masterplan. The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development said that the document would have some weight as it would be used in pre-planning to assist the developers with the vision.
Councillor Kybird pointed out that the Stakeholders/Consultation part of the report was incorrect as he, as a Thetford Town Council Member, had only received a presentation and had not been suitably consulted on the document. He further pointed out a number of inaccuracies within the Masterplan itself that required urgent attention and suggested another loop of consultation including the Moving Thetford Forward Board.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee had issues with the lack of car parking provision within the document and felt that town centres should be provided with ample parking to attract more visitors. He gave Bury St Edmunds as an example of how a good shopping centre should be. The Growth Programme Manager advised that transport matters were ... view the full minutes text for item 46