Special meeting to consider King’s Lynn road legal case

Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110405009
Lynnsport Link Road'LARA representatives calling for a Judicial review, LtoR, Angela Galliban, Jo Rust, Stuart Hall, Sue Bruce. ANL-150416-110405009
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A meeting to discuss calls for legal action over a controversial North Lynn road project is expected to take place in the next few days.

The move follows a call by Labour election candidate Jo Rust for her party’s executive to consider seeking a judicial review of the planning consent granted for the route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport.

Party officials have confirmed that the issue has been discussed and that a special meeting is likely to take place next week.

Objectors maintain that the West Norfolk Council planning committee’s decision to approve the road earlier this month is unsafe because one of its members, vice-chairman Mick Peake, did not participate in a site visit undertaken during the meeting.

The council has consistently maintained that procedures were correctly followed and maintained it would have acted if it was unhappy with how the vote was conducted.

The latest meeting was called after it was discovered that the authority had breached its own rules on the amount of time given to objectors to make their case against the scheme.

But Sue Bruce, of the Lynnsport Area Residents’ Association (LARA), said: “At the moment all the public can see is that council rules are constantly being broken concerning this application, and when they are broken it is always to the benefit of the council.”

The road, and the potential future housing developments that the council proposes to develop from it, was also a hot topic of debate among candidates at the Lynn News election hustings on Tuesday.

Speaking from the audience, Alistair Beales, the borough council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, defended the scheme, but acknowledged there were “difficulties”.

He insisted: “It’s not about money. It’s about providing much needed housing and public benefit.”

But UKIP’s Toby Coke said he was “dead against” the scheme, adding: “It does not have the support of the people.”

Mrs Rust said empty properties across the borough should be examined first before new housing developments are brought forward, though she acknowledged the borough council does have an empty homes strategy.

And both Green Michael de Whalley and Liberal Democrat Hugh Lanham said the ability of councils to grant themselves planning permission had to be addressed.

Mr Lanham said: “It’s fundamentally flawed that when the borough council owns the piece of land, that is the land that is to be built on. We’ve got to move beyond that.”

However, Conservative Henry Bellingham said he believed the council’s local plan, which would allow for around 6,000 new homes to be built across the borough over the next decade, is sustainable.

But he stressed he supported campaigners on many issues, having previously said he would back a public inquiry if local people remained unhappy with the plan.