Green space between Wymondham and Hethersett ‘safe’

The green space between Wymondham and Hethersett was saved from further development yesterday when plans for 350 new homes were refused.

The unanimous decision by district councillors came three months after the same authority narrowly approved the same application for land off Norwich Common.

However, the plans by Landstock Estates Ltd and Landowners Group were back before South Norfolk Councillors following a number of rulings by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government.

A planning committee yesterday voted to refuse the proposals for Carpenters Barn on the grounds that it went against policies in the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's joint core strategy, which aims to maintain the 'strategic gap' between Hethersett and Wymondham.

Councillors added that the plans pre-empted the start of an Area Action Plan for Wymondham, which aims to shape where 2,200 new homes will be built over the next 15 years.

A previous committee had approved the scheme because of a shortage in the five-year land supply for development.

However, the plans were brought back following rulings by Eric Pickles who had rejected applications, despite a land supply deficit.

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Tom Williamson, of the Vision: Our Wymondham campaign group, told councillors that the latest plans would further erode the gap between the town and Hethersett and the site was just 150 metres away from the Hethersett parish boundary and 3km away from Wymondham town centre.

He added that there were traffic and visual impact concerns and the developers were 'jumping the gun.'

Former district councillor Martin Wynne added that approval would 'open the floodgates' to other developments before the completion of the Area Action Plan.

Councillor Lee Hornby added that he was against the 'urban sprawl' proposals.

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