Residents vent anger at Wymondham ASDA consultation

Residents packed into a Norfolk town hall to vent their anger at plans to build a new 23,000sq ft supermarket on land occupied by the town's football club.

Discussions between Wymondham residents and ASDA representatives occasionally became heated during the public consultation at Wymondham Central Hall yesterday, the first of a two-day exhibition for the chain's plans to build the new store on Kings Head Meadow in Back Lane, which is set to create 200 jobs.

The site is currently occupied by Wymondham Town FC, which will move to a new ASDA-funded ground at Ketts Park, boasting stands, a pavilion, bar and car parking.

However, there are also children's play areas and other recreational amenities at Kings Head Meadow.

Campaigners from action group Wymondham Asks Why (WAW), which opposes using the meadow for a supermarket, distributed leaflets to the hundreds of visitors to the hall.

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Derek Ward, of Ketts Avenue, is a member of WAW and said the site had a long footballing history which he did not want to lose in favour of a supermarket. Traffic in the town centre was another concern as he did not feel the roads were big enough to cope with an influx of shoppers.

'I am totally against a facility that will destroy a greenfield site that has been used for recreation for 300 years. It is used as a play area, the football club still use it. It is just a decimation. It is like taking Wymondham Abbey down and moving it to America,' Mr Ward said.

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But ASDA communications manager Chris Martin said the site was chosen because market research showed there was demand for a food store in the town centre.

As well as the store, there will be a 196-space car park, providing three hours' parking.

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