'Saturation point' - mayor's concerns over town's housing growth

Wymondham Abbey and town centre

Some 2,600 new homes will have been built in Wymondham by 2038. - Credit: Mike Page

"I think we're getting to a stage where we're at saturation point."

Those are the words of Wymondham's mayor Kevin Hurn, of the growth his town is experiencing.

With its magnificent abbey, quaint streets, excellent shops and location close to the A11, it's little wonder Wymondham regularly features on lists of the best places to live.

Market Place in Wymondham, in glorious sunshine. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Wymondham regularly features on lists of the most popular towns to move to. - Credit: Daniel Moxon

But, such popularity heaps pressure on the need to provide homes for people who want to live there.

In 2015, South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said it was crucial that Wymondham not be "swamped by a level of growth that could choke it and spoil the very qualities that make it such an attractive place to live and work".

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council. - Credit: Rose Sapey

That was in the preface to the Wymondham Area Action Plan - a document to control where development could be permitted.

That plan provided for at least 2,200 new homes by 2026. The latest Greater Norwich Local Plan - a blueprint for where development could be acceptable - allocates 150 more.

That will mean the town will have grown by about 2,600 homes by 2038.

Martin Ford of Wymondham in Bloom, left and councillor Kevin Hurn who has been co-ordinating the cou

Kevin Hurn, mayor of Wymondham. - Credit: Archant

Mr Hurn, the town's mayor, who represents Wymondham Town (Central) on South Norfolk Council, said: "I think we're getting to a stage where we are at saturation point.

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"We feel we've probably had our fair share of new housing and we're hoping that we won't get further allocations beyond what we have had.

"There's been three or four areas where we have had or will be having development and we do get tentative inquiries from other developers, which has resulted in a bit of a backlash."

Mr Hurn said there was, in common with much of the country, pressure on doctors' surgeries, but also on the town's primary schools.

Wymondham High Academy has been expanded - to provide an extra 375 places for pupils.

Wymondham High Academy entrance at Folly Road, Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Wymondham High Academy has been expanded. - Credit: Denise Bradley

And a new 420-place primary school is earmarked for nearby Silfield.

But other infrastructure is also under pressure. Anglian Water will need to increase capacity at the town's water recycling centre to serve growth.

And there should be improvements at Wymondham railway station, which will get a share of the £32m Transforming Cities cash awarded to Greater Norwich to improve access.

John Harwood and Brendan Gray have adopted Wymondham Station and will help with the upkeep of the st

Wymondham Railway Station. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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