A full planning application is expected to be made soon for development of the former station yard on Station Road/Stony Lane, Reepham.
The plans, which are likely to be submitted within the next ten weeks by HEB Properties of Hethersett, call for a mixture of retail, commercial and residential development.
According to Ian Malton of CAM Architects, Norwich, the application will include a 4,500 square foot (420 square metres) Anglia Co-operative supermarket with 15-20 car parking spaces for the front of the site on Station Road/Cawston Road, a veterinary surgery and a single-storey 60-bed care home in the middle, and up to 22-24 houses at the rear of the site, of which one third will be “affordable” housing units.
It is estimated that such development of this brownfield site could create around 130 new jobs, of which the specialist care home would account for around 100 full-time equivalent positions and 30 for the supermarket.
The 2.8-hectare former station yard site in Reepham has been unused and redundant for many years. However, the former station buildings immediately adjacent the site are currently used for a variety of retail/workshop and catering uses, including Kerri’s Farmhouse Pine and tea rooms.
The site has been subject to various planning applications over the past decade. HEB Properties currently has outline planning approval for the site, which was granted in 2010 and expires in August 2013. However, this proposal included three separate single-storey office blocks with a total floor-space of just under 500 square metres instead of the retail unit that is now being suggested.
It is generally acknowledged that Reepham is in great need of a residential care home owing to the large number of elderly residents in the area, and the fact that there is no other opportunity for them to stay in the town should they require specialist care.
Reepham has also been without a veterinary surgery for many years, with the nearest located at Taverham or Aylsham.
Reepham does have a small supermarket – the Spar at the bottom of Ollands Road – although this unit does not have any off-street parking and is located on a difficult corner with Church Hill.
Ian Malton of CAM Architects will be attending the Reepham Town Council planning meeting on 29 January 2013 to give a short presentation on the Station Road/Stony Lane site. The meeting will be held in Reepham Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, at 7.30 pm.