March 15 2014 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Residents raised a number of concerns during the latest public consultation on a draft plan to build 2,200 new homes in a Norfolk town.
Over 35 Wymondham residents had already visited South Norfolk Council’s consultation on an area action plan for the town within the first hour, with many saying they were worried about the impact of the plans on traffic levels within Wymondham and whether the sites earmarked for development would be adhered to.
Diana Hockaday, a Wymondham town councillor, said she was especially worried 1,200 of the new homes were set to be built on land at Silfield because traffic would have to use Station Road to get to and from the site where the railway bridge was already a notorious bottleneck and the narrow road under the bridge would often be flooded during heavy rainfall.
She wanted improvements to the bridge to ease the bottleneck, but said the cost of the work had not been worked out. She added: “It does not fit in with what the council wants.”
Paul Hawkins, of Back Lane, did not want an influx of large development companies coming in to build the homes, preferring instead for the jobs to go to local builders who could then build homes more suited to the locality.
He added he also wanted land set aside for a new cemetery in the town because of a lack of space at the existing site.
Pip Woodward, a Wymondham resident and chairman of the town’s Heritage Museum, supported the plans, adding the homes were not going to happen “overnight” and would take place over a 20 year period as the plan specified building to be finished by 2026.
He said the town was already accommodating new developments each year, adding: “People think they are going to wake up one morning and there are going to be 2,000 new homes. They don’t see it as 15-20 years time. Looking at all the developments in Wymondham over the last 20 years, how many people in those developments are saying ‘no, there should not be anymore homes?’”
Carole Baker, a senior planning officer at the council, said no final decision had been made on the plans which would be drawn up in time for an examination in public at the end of the year.
Sites earmarked for development include Friarscroft Lane (35 homes), Old Sales Yard in Cemetery Lane (64 homes), Norwich Common (323 homes) and Carpenters Barn (350 houses).