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Is this the end of the road for King's Lynn's Southgates roundabout?





The proposed dramatic revamp of the Southgates area of Lynn now has a preferred option.

After many months drawing up several different schemes and consulting on the various benefits and drawbacks, a layout which does away with Southgates roundabout has found most favour.

Cabinet members at West Norfolk Council will be asked next Tuesday to support a scheme which creates a road diversion around the South Gate and enables the historic archway entrance to be used exclusively for cyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed dramatic revamp of the Southgates area of Lynn now has a preferred option, which would see the roundabout removed
The proposed dramatic revamp of the Southgates area of Lynn now has a preferred option, which would see the roundabout removed

Scenarios which would create much less change and include improvements to the roundabout have been considered.

But council officers say that only drastic change would deliver the masterplan aims for future vision and development.

Reflecting on the extensive work towards highways improvements and showcasing an attractive gateway to the town, Cllr Richard Blunt, portfolio holder for development, said in a report: “The current masterplan seeks to draw on and learn from this evidence base but also takes its own approach, putting the task of ‘placemaking’ at its heart.

Lynn's Southgates area as it looks now
Lynn's Southgates area as it looks now

“This is the right time to take on such a task. Changing patterns of living and working, the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis, and the government’s ambition to ‘Level Up’ the UK create a clear mandate for interventions which deliver active travel, heritage and sustainability improvements, strengthen the identity of the town, and offer benefits for residents and visitors alike.”

The favoured option includes a new road to the east of South Gate, a commercial element and 82 new homes, comprising 69 apartments and 13 houses.

A public consultation was held last October and the vast majority of respondents were supportive of the scheme’s design, aims and objectives.

The questionnaire had seven questions focusing on key issues surrounding the Southgates area: level and ambition of the proposed scenario; proposed masterplan vision; site strategy and principles; travel and movement; heritage; and environment and sustainability.

What the Southgates could look like in the future. Picture: West Norfolk Council
What the Southgates could look like in the future. Picture: West Norfolk Council

There were 127 respondents in total, although not all expressed opinions on every matter.

Agreement highlights included:

  • vehicle dominance and poor road safety - 81%;
  • level of ambition - 81%;
  • traffic diverted around South Gate - 83%;
  • new public spaces for recreational opportunities - 41%.

Under an invitation for any other comments, one respondent, who mirrored several others, said: “Get on with it!

“This is a project we have been waiting forever to see come forward, so let’s see if we can accelerate delivery of what would be a major improvement to the town.”

However, another wrote: “I am disappointed that there is no option to suggest that this work shouldn’t go ahead at all, and that funds would be better spent on other projects.”

Should cabinet members back the proposed scheme on Tuesday, it would then go to full council for consideration.



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