Business park given green light to expand by more than 50pc

Abbey Farm Commercial Park in Horsham St Faith. Pictured inset is professor Josh Bamfield

Abbey Farm Commercial Park in Horsham St Faith. Pictured inset is professor Josh Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research - Credit: Google Maps/Josh Bamfield

A bustling business park is set to grow by more than half after plans were given the stamp of approval by councillors.

Abbey Farm Commercial Park in Horsham St Faith will be gaining an additional seven commercial buildings after Broadland District Council recommended the plans.

The site currently has 12 units - all of which are occupied.

A new vehicular access from Church Street, as well as a footpath and cycleway have also been granted as part of the changes. 

The application stated: "The commercial park is a successful established business park which is currently operating at full capacity,

"Therefore there is a need for it to be expanded to meet the needs of both existing and future tenants, all of which will contribute to the local economy." 

Professor Josh Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research in Norwich, said business parks became more popular as a result of Covid as the units tend to be more spacious for customers. 

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He added: "Out of town retail parks are fine but they should not be seen as an alternative to the high street." 

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre of Retail Research. Picture: Joshua Bamfield

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre of Retail Research. Picture: Joshua Bamfield - Credit: Joshua Bamfield

Historic England had noted the site lies in the vicinity of a range of highly designated heritage assets including the Grade I-listed remains of St Faith Prior and the Church of the Blessed Virgin and St Andrew. 

But the government-backed body did not raise overall objections. 

A spokesman for Horsham and Newton St Faiths Parish Council said: "We are happy about the approval. We talked about the access but as for building on it we had no problems.

"It had always been designated for further industrial use."

Some people living nearby had raised objections to the plans on several grounds including noise pollution.

One villager living in Cross Keys Close commented: "Had we chosen to live in a suburban area we might expect more development.

"However a village should stay a village and that’s why we chose to live here.

"We are already woken at 5am on the Thursday when the industrial bins are emptied on the industrial estate."

Abbey Farm Commercial Park in Horsham St Faith 

Abbey Farm Commercial Park in Horsham St Faith - Credit: Google Maps

LPP Chartered Town Planners, which prepared the application on behalf of Horsham Properties, has been contacted for comment.