Development campaigners in Wymondham and Dereham step up fight

Two Norfolk communities are bidding for special status to prevent developments on well-loved pieces of land.

In Wymondham, campaigners opposed to Asda building a supermarket on an area of open space at Kings Head Meadow are trying to register it as a village green.

Action group Wymondham Asks Why (WAW) is urging residents to rally around its latest move before it submits an application to Norfolk County Council in the new year.

Members hope that the status can be applied to the land, which owner Wymondham Town Council proposes to sell to Asda for a superstore and relocate current occupier Wymondham Town Football Club to new bespoke facilities.

The town council and retailer claim the move would bring much needed footfall and about 200 jobs to the town centre, while objectors have protested on the grounds of highway safety and the loss of the historic green area.

To become a village green, campaigners will have to prove that Kings Head Meadow has been used by local people for recreation for at least 20 years.

WAW is holding a public meeting at the Fairland United Reformed Church on January 21, at 11.30am.

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Meanwhile, in Dereham, residents and Dereham Town Council are applying for town green status for a green area off Castell Road on the Highfields Road estate, which Breckland Council has suggested could be sold to a property developer.A total of 110 residents completed the evidence questionnaires, with 60 having used the land for more than 20 years.

Town clerk Tony Needham said: 'This is a good application with an overwhelming weight of evidence to support its registration as a Town Green and overwhelming public support to see this land retained as open space.

'This is a fine example of how the legislation is being used for exactly the purpose it was intended, to protect people's rights to access open spaces, now and for generations to come.'

ian.clarke@archant.co.uk

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