ASDA sets its eyes on Wymondham town centre site

A major supermarket chain has announced it is in discussions with Wymondham Town Council about building a store in the town centre.

ASDA hopes to submit a planning application next year for a store on Kings Head Meadow, which is currently home to Wymondham Town Football Club.

The proposals are currently being drawn-up in conjunction with the town council, which could lead to the relocation of the club to brand new sporting facilities at a site still to be revealed.

ASDA claims the new store could create about 200 new jobs, while increasing footfall and spending within the town centre.

It comes as company Bride Hall Developments edges closer to placing an application for a 20,000 sqft supermarket and public transport hub next to the railway station, although a retailer for the proposed store has not yet been named.

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Neil Ward, Wymondham Town Mayor, admitted plans to build on the green space could be seen as 'contentious' but said the Kings Head Meadow site provided the best opportunity to support the town.

'It was chosen for its close proximity to the town centre. We can not force people to go into the town but being so close gives people an opportunity to walk into the town centre,' he said.

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'Having an out of town site would not benefit the town. It also gives the football club an opportunity to have new bespoke facilities.

'We don't have a cricket pitch in Wymondham, we have no hockey pitch - these are things we could do on a new site. We will never have an opportunity to do this again.'

Although details concerning access and the potential size of the store are still to be finalised, Mr Ward said the development would only fill the current footprint of the existing football pitch while an adjacent area containing a public footpath and small play area would be retained.

Chris Martin, ASDA senior property communications manager, said the proposals would be shared with residents during a public exhibition in spring 2012 which would be followed by the submission of a planning application later in the year.

He added: 'Wymondham would benefit from approximately 200 new jobs at the proposed store, in addition to bringing an economic benefit to the town centre by enabling people to do their grocery shopping locally rather than having to go to out of town stores.'

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