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Homes protest to take to the streets

PUBLISHED: 19:28 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 July 2010

Campaigners fighting to stop a London developer's plans to build thousands of new homes in Wymondham are taking their protest to the streets.

Fight For Wymondham, the group set up by residents to oppose Pelham Holdings' proposals for 3,000 new homes to the south of the town, has announced that a protest march will take place on Saturday, September 6.

Campaigners fighting to stop a London developer's plans to build thousands of new homes in Wymondham are taking their protest to the streets.

Fight For Wymondham, the group set up by residents to oppose Pelham Holdings' proposals for 3,000 new homes to the south of the town, has announced that a protest march will take place on Saturday, September 6.

The group said that it welcomed South Norfolk Council's decision not to consider the application at its July planning meeting. The application is now likely to come before the council in September.

The march had been provisionally planned for this weekend, but the campaign group felt it should be moved to September to achieve maximum effect.

Campaign spokesman Julie de Rohan said: “We've had an overwhelming response to our campaign so far and support is growing on a daily basis. We are pleased South Norfolk Council is delaying its decision. We now have a couple of extra months to arrange something really special”.

The idea to stage a march was unanimous among the group's members.

March organiser David Wilkinson said: “We feel strongly that we want the opportunity to bring everyone together and demonstrate the depth of opposition to the proposal. The Fight For Wymondham march will give us the chance to do just that”.

Earlier this week, Pelham Holdings said it remained firmly committed to the proposals despite the current turmoil in the housing market and gloomy economic picture.

For more information about

Fight For Wymondham go to www.fightforwymondham.com or call 07766 287 233.

Meanwhile the developer behind the homes plan said that it remains firmly committed to plans to build thousands of new homes in Wymondham despite the current turmoil in the housing market.

Pelham Holdings will continue to push forward with proposals for a new “sustainable mixed-use urban extension” to the south of the town following the news that housebuilders Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey are planning to shed masses of jobs because of the credit crunch.

Bill Higgins, Pelham Holdings director, said although there are problems in the short-term for the housing market, housebuilders are continuing to work on higher quality sites, of which Wymondham is one.

He added: “Pelham Holdings has developed its vision for south Wymondham over a number of years and we remain firmly committed to it despite the current unstable condition of the housing market, and the difficulties experienced by some prominent house builders.

“This is potentially a 15-year scheme that could straddle further cycles in the housing market, which reflects the long-term nature of the development industry we have been in for more than 25 years.

“There is a recognised shortfall in local housing supply and a clear need for more homes, both private and affordable, as well as the other significant local benefits development at south Wymondham will bring.

“Careful consideration of the long-term needs of Wymondham is vitally important and the sustainable urban extension proposed is capable of making an exceptional contribution towards the future prosperity of the town.”

Under the plans, the company is proposing to build 3,000 new homes, 750 of which will be affordable, a business park, and the new infrastructure, facilities and services necessary to support them, including a primary school, a sixth-form college, a nursery and three local centres providing shops and other facilities.

The proposals have met with opposition from many residents and a campaign group called Fight for Wymondham has been launched.

Wymondham Town Council has recommended the scheme should be refused and concerns include the scale of the proposed development, the lack of existing services such as schools and medical facilities, and the strain the development would have on the town's infrastructure.

South Norfolk Council says the planning application is the largest of its kind the authority has dealt with and is likely to come before September's planning committee meeting.

A council source said that by submitting the application just before a change in the fee regulations, the applicants paid £25,000 rather than the new fee of £125,000.

Council leader John Fuller said: “We can understand why the applicants wanted to jump the gun, and get in before the fees went up, so their timing was fortunate for them. However, the land they are interested in building on is also currently being considered as part of the wider local development framework process.”

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