Flood warning issued over King's Lynn housing proposal
Flood resilience measures planned as part of a major housing proposal in Gaywood have been deemed “inadequate”.
The verdict has been delivered by the Environment Agency in a formal objection to West Norfolk Council’s plans for more than 200 new homes on land off Parkway.
The authority says it will review its proposals following the intervention.
But the agency’s comments are another setback for a scheme that has been blighted by controversy for many months.
Borough council leaders announced earlier this month that a full planning application had been lodged to build up to 226 new homes on land formerly occupied by the College of West Anglia.
The new scheme replaced a much larger proposal which was given planning approval by councillors in the spring, only to be scrapped amid fierce environmental opposition and projections suggesting the expected benefits of the project would not be as great as originally thought.
The Environment Agency’s concerns relate to a flood risk assessment of the latest plan which it says is unacceptable.
In a letter to the borough council, which has been published on its planning website this week, the agency said it was particularly concerned about the provision of ground floor sleeping accommodation, which it said went against local policies, and floor levels being potentially below the water levels that could be expected in a one in 200 year flooding event.
The letter added: “The proposed resilience/resistance measures are inadequate.”
The agency did not object to the earlier proposal for nearly 380 homes in the area, which was backed by councillors in April.
And the letter asked for a re-consultation on any revisions made to the proposal in the light of its contents.
A West Norfolk Council spokesman said: “We are reviewing the Environment Agency’s comments to the flood risk assessment and we will be resubmitting further details in due
Meanwhile, police have defended their call for the council to make a financial contribution towards additional resources if the revised scheme is given the go-ahead.
Earlier this month, a letter from the force argued the scheme, together with other developments in the area, risked placing “significant additional pressures” on the service.
It suggested a contribution of around £11,000 would be necessary in relation to the Parkway plan and warned that “additional stress will be placed on already over-stretched existing police resources” if extra money was not made available.
A Norfolk Police spokesman said this week: “Norfolk Constabulary liaise with local authority planning departments regularly and make recommendations, for example, around ‘designing out crime’.
“For the future allocation of new development land and larger scale developments we will make representations to local authorities on planning policy matters in local and neighbourhood plans.
“Where a single development or a combination of nearby developments are likely to have a direct impact on our police infrastructure needs for accommodation and / or providing our police officers and staff with uniform, equipment, ICT and vehicles, we will make representations to seek a financial contribution towards this.”