King’s Lynn housing plan criticised by rural campaigners

Russett Close residents are upset that an area of grass has been ploughed over and fenced off. ANL-140327-121921001
Russett Close residents are upset that an area of grass has been ploughed over and fenced off. ANL-140327-121921001
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Developers behind plans to build dozens of new homes on a Lynn housing estate have failed to properly address flaws which led previous proposals to be rejected, critics have claimed.

Proposals for 81 new properties on land off Russett Close, on the Reffley estate, will go before a borough council committee next week.

But planning officers have recommended the scheme from Boyer Investments Ltd should be refused, because of the harm that would be caused by a proposed access road to the site.

The latest proposal is a revision of an earlier scheme for 95 properties which was turned down by the borough council in March of last year.

A subsequent appeal to a government planning inspector was also dismissed in October.

One of the key concerns surrounding that scheme was the loss of open space on Russett Close, which is popular area with walkers.

But the developers say the provision of a replacement green space within the development site has addressed that issue.

They also argue that surrounding residents will enjoy improved pedestrian and cycle access links, while the proposed access road to the development has been deemed acceptable by Highways officials.

However, members of the council’s Lynn advisory committee have called for the scheme to be turned down, arguing that the proposed green space does not adequately replaced the area that would be lost to the road.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has also objected, claiming the proposed green is not safe.

They said: “To reach the play area, children will have to walk along a pavement on the edge of this access road, and parents in Russett Close will not be able to keep an eye on their children at play.

“The location of the Village Green Play Area is not only an unsafe play space for the children of Russett Close but also for the children of the proposed estate.

In their report to the committee, which will meet at the council’s headquarters in Chapel Street, Lynn, on Monday, planning officers said development of the area has already been deemed to be acceptable following the granting of outline planning consent in 2007 and a further permission in 2011, which has now lapsed.

They said the provision of a green space within the state had been indicated by the planning inspector as a potential means of addressing the concern over the loss of open space.

But they added: “The access road remains in the same place as in the appeal scheme. The proposal does not, therefore, address the harm to visual amenity caused by the proposal.

“Consequently, the proposal fails to take advantage of the opportunity to improve the environment.

“Accordingly, it is recommended that the application is refused for the reason set out below.”