King’s Lynn residents welcome decision to throw out 95 homes plan

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Residents of a Lynn street have welcomed planners’ decision to protect their amenity area by throwing out a bid to build 95 homes.

West Norfolk Council’s planning committee refused applicant I. Boyer’s plans to build an estate and access road on land off Russett Close, Reffley, at a meeting yesterday .

The application was proposing to divide the close’s amenity area to create an access onto the development area.

But the meeting heard that mystery surrounds over who owns this parcel of land, which has been maintained for many years by the council.

Speaking after the meeting Michael Coote, who represented people living in Russett Close, welcomed the decision.

He said: “The residents are pleased that there has been a refusal.”

During the meeting Mr Coote told the committee that the grassed amenities area had been used by the neighbourhood’s children for many years and that the development site had flooded in the past.

He said: “Currently Lynn has 1,000 vacant homes, there can be no justification whatsoever to hasten the build of these 95 new dwellings.”

David Shaw, who represented the applicants, stated that the site had received an earlier planning permission.

He also said that the plans to build a bridge to link this site with another across the Gaywood River have been dropped.

Mr Shaw said contractors were expecting to build 67 homes on the site.

Elizabeth Nockolds, the council’s portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said residents had contacted her to express concern about the potential loss of the amenity area.

Committee member Martin Storey called for the application to be refused because of concerns over flooding following the disaster in Somerset in recent weeks along with the impact on Russett Close residents.

He said: “I think we have to show quite a lot of regard to those people living in Russett Close. I feel they are going to be hard done by with this application.”

North Lynn ward member David Collis said he was strongly opposed to the application due to the loss of the amenity area.

Ian Gourlay said he was going to vote against the application and called for the council to send an invoice for the maintenance to the amenity area owners if they are ever found.

Zipha Christopher called on the developers to give the home a bit of “style and character” but also raised concerns about water voles which are living in the nearby Gaywood River.

She said: “Water voles are disappearing with the speed of light.”

John Loveless told the meeting that an objector had stated that the amenity area belonged to Milton Ltd, which were the successor of original developer Taylor Woodrow.

The application had been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers.

A lengthy discussion was held over the grounds for refusal if the applicant decided to lodge a planning appeal.

But committee chairman Vivienne Spikings proposed to refuse planning permission due to the loss of the amenity grounds.

This was approved by nine votes with five councillors voting against the proposal.