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The mystery of the national retailer heading for market town

PUBLISHED: 14:53 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:53 11 April 2019

The development would be built as an extension to the existing Argos store on Millers Walk. Photo: Adam Lazzari

The development would be built as an extension to the existing Argos store on Millers Walk. Photo: Adam Lazzari

Archant

Shoppers in a market town must wait a while longer before discovering just which national retailer has set its sights on its centre.

Plans to extend the Millers Walk Shopping Centre in Fakenham have been given the all clear, with the promise of a national retailer waiting in the wings for the project to be complete.

However, the identity of this company remains a mystery, with the applicant behind the scheme unable to confirm who the potential new tenant could be.

The plans, which were submitted by Fakenham Properties Ltd, called for a new retail unit to be built on the Argos end of the centre, on land currently providing 29 car parking spaces.

Members of North Norfolk Council’s planning committee unanimously gave their seal of approval to the scheme, meaning it will become a reality within three years.

However, Peter Bellman managing partner at CBGA Robson, who was behind the application, said: “I am delighted with the result of the application which has been a long time coming - we have persevered with it for some time.

“Hopefully now planning permission has been granted everything else will click into place and we will have more positive news soon.”

Colin Reuben, planning officer at North Norfolk said: “The promise of a national retailer on a long term lease represents a rare opportunity for the town which could really add to the vitality of the town.”

Roy Reynolds, Conservative councillor for Lancaster north, echoed the officer’s sentiment.

He said: “If the new unit can attract a blue chip retailer to Fakenham and increase foot fall in the town it can only be useful - town centre foot fall is so important.”

During the discussion around the scheme, it was suggested bollards stopping up Cattle Market Street at its junction with Whitehorse Street be removed.

However, Phil Rowson, head of planning at North Norfolk District Council, said this is not something the applicant could be expected to do.

The shopping centre is already home to a number of other national companies, including Argos, Greggs and Card Factory.

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