Group slams 'dreadful' town market place and demands overhaul
- Credit: Ian Burt
A Norfolk town has been described as "unwelcoming" and its marketplace "dreadful" by the working group discussing its future.
The group, which is made up of four town councilors, four aboutDereham members and is chaired by the mayor, Stuart Green, has created an unofficial list of desirable outcomes it would like to see.
The list, published in the Dereham Heritage Trust Newsletter by trustee Dr Peter Wade-Martins, states the town centre needs a "very radical revamp".
It continues: "The marketplace is dreadful, some describing it as a disaster area. It has become little more than a large roundabout for buses.
"It all needs to be pedestrianised, both the car parking and the ‘bus station’ need to be moved out of the marketplace to one of the car parks.
"The marketplace should be paved with seats and trees and become a pleasant place to shop and to meet friends.
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"The town centre should become a welcoming environment, which it certainly is not now."
The last town plan was published in 1976, when the market place was re-ordered to look as it does now.
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The list also mentions the need for a designated route for a new north/south bypass linked to Swanton Morley to take traffic away from the town centre, new and better town toilets, and more green space in Toftwood.
"This is all a big ask and much of it can only be achieved over the longer term," Said Dr Wade-Martins. "But there is no harm in being ambitious.
"One member of the group takes the view if you aim for the biggest task first, all the lesser ones more easily fall into place. Others feel we should be more realistic and be less ambitious.
"Perhaps no more than a new vision for Dereham can be achieved at this stage, but we need to start somewhere."
The working group will now create a more formal list to present to Breckland Council.