Association vows to keep fighting King’s Lynn housing plans despite poll defeat

Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110405009

Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110405009

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Members of the Lynnsport Area Residents’ Association (LARA) met last night to discuss their next move after the ruling Conservative administration gained 10 seats on West Norfolk Council.

The results mean the Tories now have 50 out of the 62 newly-elected councillors, including four of the eight seats for Gaywood and North Lynn wards.

But LARA chairman Stuart Hall insisted the results did not give the council a mandate to proceed with their plans for a link road and hundreds of new homes in the area.

He said: “People have voted for the Conservatives in the same way they have nationally.

“I don’t think it’s a reflection of people wanting all this development.”

Mr Hall, who unsuccessfully contested the Gaywood North Bank ward as an independent candidate, said some of the elected councillors had stood on a platform opposing the development.

He added: “We’ll see whether they change their minds now they’re in with the big boys.”

And Thomas Smith, one of two newly-elected Conservative councillors in Gaywood North Bank, conceded there were problems with the proposals in their current form.

But he pointed out that changes had already been made as a result of the LARA campaign and suggested the project should be kept under constant review.

He said: “We have got to make sure it’s the best it can be.”

Mr Hall said LARA were considering a number of campaign options, including the possibility of a protest rally against the proposals.

And he admitted supporters had been shocked by the election results.

He said: “Facebook went mad after the election. People were saying they couldn’t understand how they had voted in that way.”

Meanwhile, Labour politicians are still considering whether or not to launch legal action to reverse last month’s decision to grant planning permission for the link road. No decision has yet been made

But Mr Smith said the development had not been a key issue for residents during the election campaign.

He said more pressing local concerns had been the provision of bus services to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a wish to see council tax bills kept low.

However, he also urged residents on all sides of the debate to share their views on the development proposals with him and his fellow ward councillors, Patrick Rochford and Mark Shorting.

He said: “The whole point is to be the people’s representative and do what they want.”

But Mr Hall said he feared some residents would only realise the full implications of the development plans as they progress.

He added: “It’s going to be a long four years.”