Two-week consultation to begin over bid for new care village

The parish boundary between Wymondham and Hethersett on the B1172, just before Ketts Oak to the right.

The parish boundary between Wymondham and Hethersett on the B1172, just before Ketts Oak to the right. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A two-week consultation over plans for a new care village between Hethersett and Wymondham is due to begin this month - but a councillor said he believes plans are unlikely to succeed.

People in Hethersett have recently received leaflets inviting them to comment on a proposed application for a retirement complex, which developer Glavenhill intends to submit to South Norfolk Council.  

The proposed location for the complex is on two fields near New Road and Kett’s Oak.

The two fields, located at the corner of New Road and Kett's Oak

The two fields, located at the corner of New Road and Kett's Oak - Credit: Google

The leaflet says: “The sites can accommodate a new care village which will comprise a care home for those with more immediate and specialist care requirements, and a number of independent living bungalows, where residents can continue to live independently but with the benefit of easy access to communal facilities, including hairdressers, a lounge and events space, and the option of accessing a range of personal care services.”

Local Conservative district councillor Phil Hardy said, however, any plan on that site had “little chance of success”.

Councillor Phil Hardy.

Councillor Phil Hardy. - Credit: Phil Hardy

“National policy says you can’t really merge two big settlements, so Hethersett and Wymondham must stay separate and you shouldn’t have any housing in between the west side of New Road all the way up to Wymondham,” said Mr Hardy.

“That policy to keep the two settlements separate is one of the most powerful policies we have, it carries more weight than most.”

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He said Glavenhill’s argument of a need for local care provision would not override the need for a “strategic gap” between the settlements, but admitted there was no certainties in planning.

Aerial view of strategic gap between Wymondham and Hethersett

An aerial view of Wymondham in the south west and Hethersett in the north east, with the 'strategic gap' of fields separating them. - Credit: Google

Chris Leeming, chairman of Lanpro - the developer's agents - said: “Glavenhill Limited is promoting a site to deliver a care village on behalf of a regional provider to meet an identified and publicly acknowledged need for these services within the Greater Norwich Area.

“Fundamentally, Norfolk has an under provision of this type of  accommodation and this is coupled with an ageing population – in short, these needs must be met urgently and there is no current plan to do so.

“Therefore a site in [a] suitable and sustainable location adjoining the village of Hethersett has been identified as being capable of accommodating a well-designed and well planned scheme and there is a public consultation being carried out on the proposals for two weeks from November 19.”

Kett's Oak is the renowned meeting place of Robert Kett and his followers in 1549 before their uprising against rich landowners.

Kett's Oak, which missed out on the England's Tree of the Year title. Photo:Sonya Duncan.

Kett's Oak, which missed out on the England's Tree of the Year title. Photo:Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008


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