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Housing plan 'will bear scrutiny'

PUBLISHED: 10:32 09 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 14 July 2010

A major housing developer said yesterday it remained confident that its plans to build thousands of new homes in Wymondham would stand up to the scrutiny of the planning process.

A major housing developer said yesterday it remained confident that its plans to build thousands of new homes in Wymondham would stand up to the scrutiny of the planning process.

Pelham Holdings said it was disappointed that Wymondham Town Council had recommended the scheme for refusal following a packed meeting attended by 280 residents. But the company said it remained confident that its plans represent the most sustainable option for the long-term future growth of the town.

London-based planning consultant Barton Willmore has submitted a planning application on behalf of Pelham Holdings for 3,000 new homes, 750 of which will be affordable, a business park and the infrastructure, facilities and services to support them, including a primary school, a sixth-form college, a nursery and three local centres providing shops and other facilities, including a medical centre.

But local people opposed to the scheme say they are concerned about the scale of the development and say there is already a lack of existing services such as school places and medical facilities and that the development would put a strain on the town's infrastructure.

A spokesman for Pelham Holdings said: “We have offered to engage with the town council on several occasions, but they have declined our invitations.

“The plans have been informed by our extensive public consultation process, which involved two public exhibitions and a series of stakeholder workshops.

“We understand people's concerns about infrastructure, particularly when local services are already under strain, and we are committed to both providing new facilities and making contributions to the improvement of existing services to cater for the demand the development would create.

“The planning application comprehensively deals with the issues raised at the recent meeting organised by Wymondham Town Council and we are confident that it will stand up to the scrutiny of the planning process.”

Responding to the comments, Wymondham town clerk Trevor Gurney said: “At the present time the town council has decided not to engage in private talks with Barton Willmore to ensure that it maintains its ability to properly vote on any planning application.

“Should the planning application be successful, all be it through the medium of going to a public enquiry, then at that stage the town council would be looking to enter into negotiations on specific plans for the site.”

The application could be determined by South Norfolk Council's planning committee as early as July, but if it is refused and the company appeals it could be referred to the secretary of state.

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