Bin and traffic fears as King's Lynn councillors examine new housing bid
Fears around traffic and bin collections have been raised by councillors over a plan to bring hundreds of new homes to King’s Lynn.
A new scheme for some 226 homes on the former College of West Anglia (CWA) playing fields – off Parkway, in Gaywood – has been submitted by West Norfolk Council to its own planning department.
An earlier bid for some 379 homes on the site was scrapped after public opposition to the plan, including writer and actor Stephen Fry – himself a CWA alum.
The opposition – which was centred around concerns over the town losing its “last truly wild place” caused the council to go back to the drawing board.
But a planning sub-panel of the borough’s King’s Lynn councillors expressed several doubts about the new scheme at a consultative meeting on Thursday.
Conservative councillor, and current borough deputy mayor, Lesley Bambridge said she found it “very surprising” that no members of the public had yet objected to the plan, when hundreds had objected to the previous, larger plan.
As of yesterday, some nine members of the public have in fact objected.
She pointed out however that the council’s waste and recycling manager had objected on the grounds that bin collectors would struggle to access parts of the site – as had the town’s civic society.
While the development’s design is heavily focused on cycle infrastructure, Labour councillor Ben Jones warned that the council also needed to prepare for a “worst case scenario” of up to 500 new cars being added by the scheme.
Mr Jones said: “Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for green modes of transport… but if you’re a parent with two toddlers, you’re not going to be cycling, you’re going to be using a car.”
But an official said the county council’s highways department had assessed that there was capacity in Gaywood for the scheme’s traffic impact, and that they had not objected to the previous, larger scheme either.
The development would consist of 23 one-bedroom, 78 two-bedroom, 95 three-bedroom and 30 four-bedroom homes. Some 34 of the total would be affordable.
The group agreed to take their concerns to the planning committee, which is next due to meet on February 7.
Ahead of the meeting, it was revealed that documents prepared as part of the new application admitted that the scheme would still have an environmental impact, despite being scaled back because of habitat concerns.
However, the council said its plans had been developed to avoid the loss of ecology and biodiversity "wherever possible".
It also pointed out that Natural England has not opposed the latest scheme.