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West Norfolk Council holding consultation into likes of Hardwick retail area in King’s Lynn and West Winch plans

Residents can have their say on “additional evidence” on housing plans and retail proposals after a consultation process opened this morning.

West Norfolk Council is looking to garner opinions on new information it has acquired in relation to the borough’s Local Plan, which is set to come into play next year.

This follows a request by planning inspectors earlier in the year for a “fuller evidence base” to support the plan.

Residents can have their say on proposals for the Hardwick Road area
Residents can have their say on proposals for the Hardwick Road area

The consultation opened today and will be live for six weeks.

Stuart Ashworth, the borough council’s assistant director for environment and planning, said: “When inspectors reviewed the work done to date on the development of the Local Plan earlier this year, they identified some areas where they would like to see additional evidence.

“We have been working on that and we are now ready to share it with the public for their views; the findings will then be considered by the planning inspectors as part of the examination process.

“The Local Plan is one of the most important documents that the borough produces so it is important that we ask residents for their views at every stage, including the production of this additional evidence.”

The new consultation is for statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency and Norfolk County Council, non-statutory bodies like local interest groups, representatives of hard-to-reach groups, landowners and developers, and West Norfolk residents.

It has not re-started the consultation process on the whole Local Plan – this new phase is limited to taking views on the additional evidence that has been produced.

It includes:

• Topic paper spatial strategy and settlement hierarchy (including Neighbourhood Housing requirements)

• Update on technical note on transport evidence

• Retail impact threshold for Hardwick Road area

• Updated housing land supply

• West Winch topic paper

• Borough council gypsy and traveller accommodation assessment, June 2023

• Wisbech fringe updated position statement

• Response to critique on viability study

The latest consultation is part of a process that will allow the Local Plan examination process to continue towards full adoption, which is anticipated later in 2024. Once in place, it will last until 2039.

Residents can read the documents and find out how to comment at https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/LPRexamination.

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