King’s Lynn road scheme ‘broke planning law’, resident claims

Planning site visit North Lynn/Lynnsport Area ANL-151004-180618009
Planning site visit North Lynn/Lynnsport Area ANL-151004-180618009

West Norfolk Council has conceded that the owner of an adjacent site to that of the proposed route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport was not included, as required, on the original application form.

Election Ind Candidate Joy Franklin ANL-150904-081830009

Election Ind Candidate Joy Franklin ANL-150904-081830009

However, officials have insisted that does not affect the validity of the decision made to approve the road at a special meeting of the authority’s planning committee earlier this month.

But objectors maintain it increases the risk of a successful legal challenge to the decision.

Under planning law, developers are required both to list the owners of lands that could be affected by their proposals and declare that they have been notified of them.

On the original application form for the link road, submitted last November, one such party, Norfolk County Council, was listed.

But resident Joy Franklin says Land Registry records show a second party, SDI Fitness, should also have been listed on the form.

She believes that breaches planning law, makes the application invalid and means the planning committee had no jurisdiction to approve the proposal.

She has called for the current consent to be revoked and a fresh application to be submitted.

And, with Labour activists expected to examine the possibility of taking legal action against the decision this week, she warned: “I believe it would be a grave waste of public funds for the council to try to defend a judicial review.”

In correspondence seen by the Lynn News, the borough council’s chief executive, Ray Harding, admitted that both SDI Fitness and another nearby landowner, K/S Kings Lynn, should have been notified ahead of the submission of the application.

However, he maintained that the application does not propose any works on their lands and the inclusion of the SDI Fitness land was an error.

He continued: “I am advised, in these circumstances, that, as a matter of law, the jurisdiction of the Planning Committee to hear and determine this application was not revoked or otherwise undermined and the planning permission subsequently granted is not either unsound or technically invalid.

“In fact, because of the error in the application plans, the Ownership Certificate that accompanied the application may well be suitable and sufficient and the error in the plans may have to be addressed by other means, none of which will affect the validity of the permission that has been granted.”

But Mrs Franklin says she has written to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Planning Inspectorate to highlight her concerns.

She said: “It should not fall to members of the public to need to check that a professional planning officer has completed his work accurately.”