Artful Codger, by Roger May, March 13, 2015

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I was surprised to see that the new housing development at the junction of John Kennedy Road and North Street in Lynn has the front doors opening out directly on to the busy main road, where cars will be stopping at the traffic lights.

As the homes will presumably contain families who may have young children, surely this constitutes both a traffic hazard as well as a danger to health from pollution?

It is already established that traffic lights are hot-spots for pollution, and this particular junction is one of the busiest in Lynn, being a major artery from the northern bypass to the town centre.

The danger from airborne pollution at lights is already recognised in countries such as Switzerland, where motorists are required by law to switch off their engines while waiting.

Air pollution from car exhausts is a particular problem for young children whose lungs are still developing, and this is surely something that ought to have been taken into consideration when the housing development was designed.

It really is beginning to look as if the town centre has reached a point where in-fill development will have to stop, simply because there are no obvious sites left – unless I have missed something.

Perhaps the borough council will now take heed of Lynn Civic Society’s call for the empty premises above many town centre shops to be brought into use.

Maybe some of the organisations charged with building social housing could be persuaded into diverting some of their resources into investigating if it is possible to work with the owners of business properties.

There again, the borough council does have the whole of West Norfolk to take into consideration when looking for sites for new housing. Rather than concentrating on towns like Lynn and Downham, surely there are many smaller places where a few extra houses, bringing families to use local schools in danger of closing, might be welcomed.

Unless some proportional formula for housing development can be arrived at, we are just going to end up with hideous sprawls of the kind that will be happening in the Lynnsport/Marsh Lane area of Lynn, despite the protests of local residents.

The manner in which the borough has brushed aside protests over this will have caused unease not only with residents in the affected areas, but right across West Norfolk, and may come back to haunt the decision-makers.

It is something that could well provide food for thought for many people when they come to the time to make up their minds on their voting intentions in the forthcoming local elections. It could prove rather interesting.