King’s Lynn business park plan approved, despite DIY store fears

Morston Point Development ANL-140618-161442001
Morston Point Development ANL-140618-161442001
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Plans for a major business and leisure development on the edge of Lynn were approved today, despite some concerns over the type of facilities proposed for the area.

Members of the West Norfolk Council planning committee unanimously backed outline proposals for the Morston Point site on the Hardwick industrial estate.

But the application will now be referred to the government, because of the scale of the proposed development.

Administrators handling the affairs of Morston Assets Ltd are seeking permission for a mixed use development of the site.

The plans include the provision of a DIY superstore and garden centre, a discount supermarket, family pub, hotel and car showroom.

It emerged last week that proposals for a new cinema, gym and associated food and drink facilities on the site had been dropped.

But committee member Avril Wright voiced concerns about the intention to provide a further DIY store and garden centre in that area.

She said: “We’ve just lost Homebase through lack of interest. Dobbies isn’t exactly crawling with people.

“Are these the right sort of things we should be getting there? We don’t need another DIY superstore and garden centre.”

Dersingham ward member Tony Bubb also voiced concerns about the potential impact of the application on the town centre.

The submission of the application follows a long-running programme of events hosted by the council throughout 2015 in a bid to encourage more people to visit the heart of Lynn and boost businesses there.

Mr Bubb said: “We’ve spent lots of money on the town centre to get people into it. This is an excuse for people not to come into it.”

But the authority’s principal planner David Parkin, who recommended approval of the scheme, said DIY stores were not generally found in town centre locations.

He told the meeting that an independent consultant employed by the council to assess the scheme had concluded the plan would not harm businesses in either the centre of Lynn or the area around the Gaywood clock.

He also described the application as “speculative” and said: “They’ve brought it forward on the basis of what they think the market will deliver.”

The scheme will now be referred to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for a final decision.