Persimmon Homes Anglia, a leading developer, has received approval from Breckland Council’s planning committee for a nature-based solution that will pave the way for the creation of much-needed new homes in Norfolk.

The groundbreaking project involves the establishment of an Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW), marking the first of its kind in the region.

The ICW will cover an expansive area of over 3 hectares and will incorporate three new ponds along with specialised plants and vegetation.

This wetland is designed to treat water from the River Wensum, enhancing water quality in the region. The approval from the planning committee is a significant step forward for the development, which is poised to play a dual role by addressing the housing shortage and improving environmental conditions.

Councillors on the planning committee recognised the potential of the wetland to replicate natural water treatment processes, thereby enhancing the overall water quality in the River Wensum catchment area.

The development is expected not only to meet the demand for new homes but also to provide substantial ecological and biodiversity benefits.

A 17-hectare area surrounding the wetland will be transformed into a wildlife haven, promoting environmental sustainability.

Michelle Baker, Managing Director of Persimmon Homes Anglia, expressed pride in the wetland project, stating, “We’re very proud of the new wetland that we are going to create in Guist, which will unlock much-needed new homes in the area and improve water quality.” Baker highlighted the commitment of Persimmon Homes Anglia to environmental responsibility, emphasising the positive impact of the nature-based solution.

The wetland project comes at a time when housing delivery in Norfolk has faced significant challenges, with the implementation of nutrient neutrality requirements in March 2022 causing delays and, in some instances, halting construction.

While acknowledging the minor contribution of housing to nutrient levels in local watercourses, Persimmon’s ICW solution ensures compliance with regulations, allowing the developer to move forward with housing projects across various sites in Norfolk.

Construction of the ICW is scheduled to commence in March of the upcoming year, with Persimmon Homes aiming for the wetland’s completion by early summer.

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