POLL: Preferred sites for new Wymondham homes revealed
Plans for the future expansion of Wymondham moved a step closer when a district council revealed its preferred sites for new housing and employment land.
The leader of South Norfolk Council said his authority would look to preserve the greenfield gap between Wymondham and Hethersett and sensitive land to the west of the town, despite pressure to build 2,200 new homes over the next 14 years.
Officers have stated their preferred sites in a Wymondham area action plan report, which earmarks 1,200 new homes to be built south of Wymondham at Silfield, but would be dependent on improvements to the rail bridge in Station Road.
The proposals, which would also include a new primary school at the southern end of the town, follows a public consultation earlier this year.
South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said they had listened to people's views and the 2,200 houses outlined for Wymondham under the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's Joint Core Strategy was a maximum and not a minimum.
He added that in reality, the council only needed to identify areas for just under 1,500 new houses following the approval of a number of developments in the town in recent years.
'Most probably, if everyone had played by the rules, there may have been a different pattern. It is disappointing that some [developers] have jumped the gun and we have to work within the law.'
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'We have maintained the gap between Wymondham and Hethersett and 89pc of respondents wanted that. If we are putting a major allocation south of Wymondham we have to have 1,000 to justify a brand new primary school,' he said.
The proposals also recognise the importance of the Lizard County Wildlife site and a buffer is proposed to protect the area from development and views of the iconic Abbey are also protected.
Residents will get their chance to have their say on the proposals during another round of public consultation on the area action plan in October.
Other areas identified for housing include 83 homes at the Wymondham Rugby Club site off Tuttles Lane and 150 homes on land off Cavick Road.
Extra employment land has been identified off Browick Road, the extension of the Wymondham Business Park off London Road, and Elm Farm Business Park development.
Cliver Walker, spokesman for Vision: Our Wymondham said: 'We are very happy that the council has confirmed that 2,200 is a maximum and not a minimum. We are also happy that the council are counting developments already approved towards the 2,200.'
Proposals for around 1,300 new homes have already been submitted off Silfield Road, Wymondham, by Pelham Holdings and Endurance Estates.