Campaigners 'let down' over Knights Hill traffic U-turn
Opponents of a major housing scheme proposed on the edge of Lynn have reacted angrily after councillors dropped one of their main objections to it.
Yesterday, West Norfolk Council officials announced the authority would not fight a forthcoming public inquiry on plans for 600 new homes at Knights Hill on transport grounds.
They said they had been given legal advice that the position could be sustained and risked leaving the authority with a £500,000 legal bill if costs were awarded against them.
But objectors to the scheme say they are "appalled" and "disgusted" by the apparent change of heart, which was voted through in a closed session during the borough council's planning committee meeting on Monday.
Castle Rising parish councillor David Goddard said he was seeking an urgent meeting with senior committee members as they prepare their case for the inquiry.
Although the hearing isn't due to take place until mid-January, initial statements have to be submitted within within weeks.
Mr Goddard said: "As parishes we feel let down, very disappointed and surprised that the borough council have decided to drop one of the main issues of objection namely that of traffic generation and highways.
"The cumulative traffic impact from the 600 houses on this development and the other permissions for 630 houses which the borough council has already passed in South Wootton could result in the 1,230 homes bringing an extra 2,000 vehicles to our roads.
"This level cannot and should not be ignored."
But the council said it had received legal advice which warned the concerns over traffic impact, which were one of the two reasons given for refusing planning permission in March, were "unarguable."
Members were also told that the applicants, who claimed the council had acted "unreasonably" in opposing the scheme on traffic grounds when it set out its appeal case last month, would not seek costs from the authority if that objection was dropped.
The borough council is now set to fight the inquiry on heritage grounds, arguing that the development would have an unacceptable impact on nearby landmarks, particularly Castle Rising Castle, if it was given the go-ahead.