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Campaigners ponder legal challenge to King's Lynn housing scheme decision




Environmental campaigners have claimed councillors' decision to allow hundreds of new homes in Gaywood puts open spaces right across West Norfolk at risk of future development.

A new umbrella organisation is being formed to continue the fight against the Parkway scheme, which was given planning permission last week.

And a campaign organiser says discussions are ongoing about a potential legal challenge to that decision.

Extinction Rebellion activists protesting at the Parkway site in Gaywood (46086617)
Extinction Rebellion activists protesting at the Parkway site in Gaywood (46086617)

Trudy Clark, of the Nature Volunteer Network, has urged members of the public to join their cause.

She said: "We need as much support from people as possible. This is a flagship. If they can build on this, they can build on anything."

Members of West Norfolk Council's planning committee voted 11 to six in favour of the authority's own proposal for the area last Thursday, despite fierce public opposition.

Much of the controversy focused on the potential implications for important habitats in the area, which objectors claim will be lost forever if the scheme proceeds.

Borough council officials have declined to comment on the new action, although senior members of its administration have repeatedly insisted the proposal will actually enhance environmental provisions.

But members of groups including the Nature Volunteer Network, King's Lynn Klimate Concern, Fenland and West Norfolk Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion are joining forces to continue their fight against a plan which the committee was told risked "annihilating nature."

And Miss Clark said talks are taking place with the Lawyers for Nature organisation about possible options.

She said: "There are certain people looking into a judicial review. I'm not saying we're going to go down that road, but it is one option."

The group claims to have the support of a number of unnamed councillors, as well as businesses and members of the public.

Miss Clark said they are not opposed to development of the western portion of the site, which was previously included in the borough's land allocations for future housing need.

But they maintain that rare alkaline reed beds within the eastern part of the site are "irreplaceable" and they are prepared to fight "all the way" in order to protect them and the rest of the land.

Miss Clark said: "None of the groups getting together are opposed to homes being built, but not at the expense of something that is irreplaceable and when there are other options."

She also re-enforced concerns raised about the level of public consultation on the application, which were dismissed by the council prior to the decision being reached.

Members of the public can contact the group by emailing nvnfornature@gmail.com.



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