Council must address public concerns over King’s Lynn housing plans, MP warns

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Council leaders have to address key questions about their plans to build hundreds of new homes in North Lynn and Gaywood, according to the town’s MP.

Henry Bellingham met residents in the Lynnsport and Marsh Lane areas at the weekend to discuss their concerns over the proposed developments.

And it emerged yesterday that revised proposals will be presented to council leaders later this month.

Mr Bellingham said he believed there was backing for some form of development in the area, but maintained that West Norfolk Council needs to address public concerns about the current proposals.

He said the loss of open spaces in the area, including the River Lane playing fields, was a key issue for local people, who questioned why homes had to be built there rather than on existing wasteland to the south and west of Lynnsport.

He also highlighted fears that the proposed link road between the leisure centre and Edward Benefer Way, which would be the main access route to the new housing developments, could end up be used as a rat run.

Mr Bellingham said: “There is support for development in that area. Everyone agrees it’s better to build on brownfield land than greenfield land.”

But he added: “These are questions the borough council must answer. I think they are listening. We have got to get it right.”

A report on the project was debated in private session by the council’s ruling cabinet during a meeting on Tuesday.

However, officials yesterday confirmed that a special cabinet meeting, also in private, will now take place on January 26 where revised proposals, taking views expressed in the public consultation, which ends today, into account.

If approved, those plans will then be debated by the full council three days later.

A council spokesman said: “We are listening to public concerns and the outcome of the consultation will be considered by officers.”

But opponents say support for their stance is continuing to grow.

They already appear to have secured one victory after officials indicated they would scrap a controversial proposal to install bollards on Marsh Lane that would prevent motorists driving towards the Wootton Road junction.

More than 1,300 people signed a petition against the bollards proposal, while a similar number have also signed a petition established against the whole project and 1,250 people have ‘liked’ a campaign page set up on Facebook.

Resident Sue Bruce said she was encouraged by Mr Bellingham’s concerns over the road and the playing fields.

And she suggested council chiefs may have been surprised by the strength of local feeling.

She said: “I don’t think they realise how much people feel about it, the connection they have to it.

“Kids from North Lynn can come across the road and go onto that field. If it’s not there, they have got to go around a housing estate.”

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