Legal bid launched to halt King’s Lynn road proposal

Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110353009
Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110353009

The fight against a controversial new road in North Lynn burst into the election campaign after a candidate called for legal action to halt the scheme.

The route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport was given planning permission for the second time by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee last week.

Officials yesterday reiterated the authority’s stance that it was satisfied with how last Friday’s vote was conducted and said they would already have acted if they had any concerns about it.

But Jo Rust, who is contesting the North West Norfolk constituency for Labour, has urged senior party officials to seek a judicial review of the planning consent decision.

It is believed that a meeting to discuss the idea could happen within days.

Mrs Rust believes the council planning committee’s decision to approve the road was flawed, because its vice-chairman, Mick Peake, took part in the vote without going on a site visit midway through the meeting.

Objectors say that breaches the authority’s own rules for dealing with planning applications and could render the decision legally unsafe.

Mrs Rust said: “We are not prepared to leave the local people, who have been robust in their opposition of this road, undefended.

“We should use every avenue open to us to postpone or stop an unsafe decision being made which could impact on their environment and wellbeing.”

Conservative candidate Henry Bellingham yesterday maintained that, during his canvassing in the area, residents had not indicated they were opposed to the principle of development in the area, but were worried about specific issues, such as the road being used as a rat-run.

On the judicial review proposal he said: “If that’s what the Labour candidate is suggesting, that’s her business.

“I don’t think there is a need for judicial review, but there is an argument for having it called in.

“If the community is still very dissatisfied with things, we can do what we did with the incinerator and try to get it called in.”

But Green Party candidate Michael de Whalley, who is a member of the Lynnsport Area Residents’ Association (LARA) committee, said he commended Mrs Rust’s stance.

Mr de Whalley himself lost a similar action against the Lynn incinerator proposal at the High Court in 2011.

And he said: “When it comes to granting planning permission, I cannot accept that any council can act in an objective manner when it is the landowner, applicant and determining authority.

“If elected, I would seek to end this madness. Until that day, we will continue to rely on community champions running the gauntlet of judicial review.

“For the sake of our community, I hope that Jo is able to follow through with her stated intentions in this matter. In return, I will offer what support I can.”