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Swaffham town centre heritage initiative backed by district council chiefs

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Plans which officials hope will herald the start of a new chapter for the centre of Swaffham have been approved by district council chiefs.

Around half a million pounds is being spent on the High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative in the town.

And two documents which underpin the scheme were formally approved by Breckland Council leaders this week.

The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (52752581)
The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (52752581)

One is a Public Realm Masterplan, which brings together a host of separate projects including the enhancement of key sites such as the Buttercross, plus a range of activity programmes.

Papers published in agenda papers to the district's cabinet meeting on Monday said: "The programme comprises an exciting and innovative array of projects to help safeguard and celebrate the town’s heritage and use Swaffham’s unique historic environment to revitalise the town centre."

The other document is a fresh review of the town's conservation area, which had not been reviewed for nearly 50 years.

The new plan would see gardens to the east of the manor house included in the conservation area that is taken into account in the consideration of planning applications.

The council has to formally notify the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the changes before the changes are formally considered in the planning process.

Both documents were compiled following public consultations, which included discussions with residents at a number of events in the town.

Paul Claussen, the council's executive member for economic development and growth, said: "I’d like to thank everyone who has responded with their views during the public consultation, or came along to take part in one of the engagement events.

"The focus of the plan has been improved and refined to reflect your views, to make this truly a vision for Swaffham for everyone."

Around £380,000 of funding from Historic England is being used to facilitate the project, plus a further £123,000 from the council itself.

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