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Councillors oppose planning application for new two-storey retail development

PUBLISHED: 14:13 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 05 October 2017

Councillors have objected on the grounds of the road being a conservation area. Photo: Adam Lazzari

Councillors have objected on the grounds of the road being a conservation area. Photo: Adam Lazzari

Archant

Fakenham town councillors have raised objections to a planning application for a new two storey retail unit in the centre of the town.

Millers Walk, Fakenham. Photo: Adam Lazzari Millers Walk, Fakenham. Photo: Adam Lazzari

A meeting of the of town council’s development and market committee ended in “unanimous objection”.

The application was submitted to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) on Thursday, September 7, and relates to the site at 15 Millers Walk, Fakenham. It could be built as an extension to the existing Argos store on this site.

However, the planning application cites a constraint, as the road is “ designated for its architectural or historic interest.”

John Rest, north Norfolk district councillor for Fakenham Lancaster South, has also expressed concerns on the grounds of the site being a conservation area.

In a written statement to NNDC, he said: “I agree with the idea of a unit being sited on this area.

“However, I am uncomfortable with the render finish which I feel is not in keeping with the surrounding buildings.

“I would like to see a ‘brick facia’ added even if only for cosmetic reasons.”

The application states that previously: “Planning permission was approved but never issued for a retail unit in the same location.”

The new proposal requests an extension in order to “provide a new two-storey retail unit”.

The application also states that the project, if approved, will bring job opportunities to the area.

The developers behind the proposal have estimated 10 to 15 full-time staff positions will be created as a result, in addition to “economic benefit to Fakenham and north Norfolk.”

The retailer who will be moving onto the site has not yet been confirmed, and whether it will be a local business or a national company is currently a subject of much speculation. Fakenham mayor, George Acheson, was unable to confirm the name of the retailer.

Residents have expressed a range of opinions on the proposal. Lisa Mallett, from Fakenham tourist information, said she would welcome a new business opening in the town, “depending on what it is.”

Mrs Mallett, owner of the ‘Sweets ‘n’ Things’ shop, said that Fakenham already had plenty of “hairdressers and charity shops”.

What do you think of the plans? Email jessica.frank-keyes@archant.co.uk.

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