Officials indicate bollard U-turn over King’s Lynn housing scheme

Peaceful protest outside Lynnsport against the proposed housing plans for Marsh Lane. ANL-151201-091704009

Peaceful protest outside Lynnsport against the proposed housing plans for Marsh Lane. ANL-151201-091704009

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Council officials could be set to make a swift U-turn and scrap plans to install bollards on the main route in and out of a Gaywood housing estate.

The change of heart was revealed on Friday during the public consultation session on plans to build hundreds of new homes in the Marsh Lane and Lynnsport areas.

Opposition to the proposals has been growing in recent weeks, with one key objection being to the proposal to stop residents driving up Marsh Lane towards the Wootton Road junction.

Critics fear the plan could take trade away from the local shop, eventually forcing it out of business.

But project officer Dale Gagen revealed he would be advising council leaders to scrap the idea when the current public consultation period ends later this week.

He said: “I have to make a recommendation and my recommendation to the council will be not to pursue the bollards idea.”

Mr Gagen said he had also discussed the issue with 
Norfolk County Council 
officials who attended the consultation at Lynnsport, adding: “They will not stand against that.”

One of objectors’ main 
concerns to the bollard plan was the potential impact on the shop which stands at the corner of Marsh Lane and Wootton Road and which
residents feared could be forced to close if the plan 
was approved.

A petition of more than 1,300 signatures has been gathered at the shop.

Owner Sam Patel yesterday paid tribute to everyone who supported the fight against barriers.

He said: “It’s a big relief for me, my wife, my staff and the people on the estate. They supported us 100 per cent. I couldn’t have asked any more from them. They have stood by me.”

But, despite the bollard retreat, there is still fierce opposition among local people to the housing proposals.

Around 30 people took part in a protest against the plans outside Lynnsport on Friday night as the consultation continued inside.

And, during, at times, heated exchanges in the centre’s Wembley Room, Wootton Road resident Josie Saunders told officers: “We want what we’ve got. We don’t want what you’re offering.”

But Mr Gagen claimed that many visitors had had at least some of their concerns addressed during the day.

And North Lynn councillor Andy Tyler said he believed the authority is listening to the public.

He said he was not opposed to homes being built in the area, but local people’s concerns should be heard and accommodated wherever possible.

He added: “I see my role in this to make certain that public concerns are expressed and the powers that be within the council have a clear understanding of those concerns.”

The current public consultation on the housing proposals ends this Friday, January 16.

Comments can still be submitted via the borough council’s website, www.west-norfolk.gov.uk, by emailing sarah.coombes@west-norfolk.gov.uk or writing to Marsh Lane/Lynnsport Consultation Response, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, King’s Court, Chapel Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1EX.