Highway and environmental concerns over Wymondham supermarket plans

Highway and environmental concerns have been raised over plans for a new supermarket near Wymondham railway station.

The town's derelict former sale ground site could be turned into a 20,000sqft food store with a transport hub and car parking under plans submitted by Bride Hall Developments.

But with the deadline for public comments passing on the planning application, fears have been raised about the impact of the development on the road network and the effect on a local nature reserve and wildlife.

Concerns have also been raised by the Wymondham Nature Group that the plans for the land off Station Road 'pre-empt' consultations on the extension of the town's conservation area and an area action plan that is due to ask residents' views on Wymondham's growth next year.

Ann Roberts, chairman of the nature group, which manages the nearby Tolls Meadow, said: 'This is an unsustainable way to plan the town; many piecemeal applications are coming forward, perhaps to circumvent Local Development Framework decisions.'

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The nature group and Norfolk Wildlife Trust have called for the extension of a buffer zone between the development and River Tiffey to protect water vole populations and have asked that lighting is kept away from the river valley so that local bats are not disturbed.

Local district councillor Robert Savage has lodged his objections to South Norfolk Council because the road network was not capable of taking an 'unacceptable' amount of traffic and would turn Cemetery Lane into a 'rat-run'.

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He added: 'The proposal will permanently alter the character of the area by introducing unparalleled volumes of traffic, noise, and disturbance, hitherto not present in this historic area.'

However, the plans have received support from the Mid Norfolk Railway, which is set to benefit from developer contributions, if approved, to go towards its plans for a new interchange station near the site.

An occupant for the supermarket has not been announced, but the applicant says it will be one of the 'big four' supermarket companies.

Wymondham Town Council, which plans to sell Kings Head Meadow, off Norwich Road, for an Asda store, is set to formulate its response to the Station Road supermarket plans at a meeting tomorrow <Tuesday, December 20>.

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