West Norfolk Council turns down art gallery plans

King's Lynn Civic Society meets with Henry Bellingham MP to discuss properties that could be used for town centre accommodation. Planning permission for 17 Purfleet Street - Alison Gifford and Helen Russell-Johnson show the plans. ENGANL00120130322133441
King's Lynn Civic Society meets with Henry Bellingham MP to discuss properties that could be used for town centre accommodation. Planning permission for 17 Purfleet Street - Alison Gifford and Helen Russell-Johnson show the plans. ENGANL00120130322133441
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Plans to transform a derelict building into an art gallery have been refused.

Dr Veronica Sekules, of Groundwork Gallery, Great Dunham, wanted to transform 17 Purfleet Street in Lynn.

She hoped to refurbish the 1937 building to create an art gallery, social area and to extend upward to create a flat.

But the plans were turned down by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee during a meeting on Monday.

Chairman of Lynn Civic Society Alison Gifford said she was surprised by the refusal.

She said: “It is a very tricky building to make anything of. They have given several different plans which were not acceptable and finally they came up with a plan which was. It wasn’t wonderful but we appreciate the difficulty they are labouring under.

“The civic society gave it a qualified approval. We don’t want that building to remain as it is - an unemployed, ugly, useless waste of space. We thought the imaginative use of the building and encouraging art would be good for the town. I was surprised it was turned down. Maybe it would be a good thing as the plans could come back even better.”

The council’s planning committee had also turned down Norfolk County Council’s application to build on the Lynn News car park in Purfleet Street. The county had wanted to put up a three storey building accommodating a retail unit on the ground floor with four flats above.