Local leaders on the outskirts of Norwich have called for developers to stop building unless they provide adequate infrastructure to cope.

Representatives from Wymondham and Hethersett have warned the areas are at breaking point, as expansion continues to push locals out of GPs, dentists and schools.

"Companies are given permission to build new homes - most of which are not affordable for most families," said Michael Rosen, Labour district councillor for North Wymondham. 

Norwich Evening News: Councillor Michael RosenCouncillor Michael Rosen (Image: Norwich Labour)

"Vital services like NHS dentists and GP surgeries can't seem to keep up with housing, and traffic on the roads is getting worse.

"Parents are also having to send their children elsewhere because everywhere in the town seems to be oversubscribed.

"This needs to be paced better so that infrastructure can either catch up with housing, or coordination is improved so services are built alongside these developments."

In the 10 years from 2001 to 2011, Wymondham’s population grew by 15pc from 12,539 to 14,405.

By 2020, almost 17,000 were believed to be living in the market town - with hundreds more homes still on the way.

"Our infrastructure is falling apart," said Dave Roberts, a Liberal Democrat district councillor for Wymondham North.

"Children two doors away from a school can't get in because they're oversubscribed. 

"Where have we gone wrong?

Norwich Evening News: Cllr Dave RobertsCllr Dave Roberts (Image: Dave Roberts)

"Developers seem to put these plans forward with glossy documents talking about space for schools and NHS dental surgeries. 

"But they don't have control over that so it won't happen."

Locals have also stressed the need to maintain the so-called 'strategic gap' between Hethersett and Wymondham.

Controversial plans for a 630-home development, that would have encroached on this green space, were dropped following backlash from nearby homeowners.

Norwich Evening News: The strategic gap between Hethersett and WymondhamThe strategic gap between Hethersett and Wymondham (Image: Google Earth)

Subsequently, South Norfolk Council approved Wymondham's neighbourhood plan, which will see the gap protected until 2038.

"Developers keep trying to edge their way in," said David Bills, who is a Conservative district councillor for Hethersett.

"But we need to keep them out and maintain the individuality of the area.

"There is of course a need for GP surgeries and dentists, and that is why South Norfolk Council has proposed £4m for a new practice.

Norwich Evening News: Hethersett councillor David BillsHethersett councillor David Bills (Image: South Norfolk Council)

"We are also looking at ways to improve both roads and cycle routes. 

"And crucially, we need to find a way to maintain our green spaces.

"In hindsight, I'm sure providing building more infrastructure before housing would have made sense.

"But life isn't like that these days and homes are built first."

Hethersett and Wymondham fall under the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) - a blueprint that could see up to 50,000 new homes in Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland by 2038.

Norwich Evening News: Aerial view of WymondhamAerial view of Wymondham (Image: Steve Adams)

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Both the GNLP and proposals given the green light prior to its publication will see up to 1,375 homes built in Hethersett between 2018 and 2038.

In 2021, controversial plans for 200 extra homes in the village were approved

Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey were also given outline permission in 2013 to build 1,196 homes on the north side of the village.

"Affordable housing is one of the biggest issues in the district and forecasted to be an increasing need throughout the next year at least," said Kathryn Cross, a Conservative district councillor for Hethersett. 

"The biggest reasons for this are the end of private rent, such as a landlord selling up, fleeing domestic violence and no longer being able to live with family or friends.

"South Norfolk does have an enviable record for housing those in most need so without the new affordable homes in Hethersett and Wymondham the housing register would be looking in a far worse state than it is today.

Norwich Evening News: South Norfolk district councillor for Hethersett, Kathryn CrossSouth Norfolk district councillor for Hethersett, Kathryn Cross (Image: Kathryn Cross)

"Having said that if 100 homes became available tomorrow that would ease the pressure enormously.

"There are still houses to be built in Hethersett, which are currently held up by Nutrient Neutrality, but I think once they are completed that Hethersett needs to take a long break from any more expansion to allow the new homes and their residents to become established within their community."

The GNLP allocated Wymondham a total of 150 additional homes across two sites by 2038.

However, much of the major housing commitment and employment expansion has been set out in the town's own Area Action Plan which, when joined to the GNLP, features an allocation of around 2,600 homes.

"When I first moved here 10 years ago, there were so many green fields," said Suzanne Nuri-Nixon, Lib Dem district councillor and mayor of Wymondham.

Norwich Evening News: Cllr Suzanne Nuri-NixonCllr Suzanne Nuri-Nixon (Image: Suzanne Nuri-Nixon)

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"I'm not against housebuilding per se, but it's the density of these proposals that is the issue.

"I always hear from people worried about dentists, GPs and schools.

"And you can build as many surgeries as you like - but how do you attract those who will work there?

"Some issues need to be dealt with at a grassroots level, but some need to be handled by central government.

"It is all very well building new homes, but we have to build communities as well."