King’s Lynn councillor launches public consultation on future of former incinerator site
A Lynn councillor has announced plans for a public consultation on the future of a controversial site on the edge of the town.
Alexandra Kemp says she wants the public’s views on what should be done with the Willows land at Saddlebow, despite recent assurances that it will be removed from future waste management plans.
Last month, Norfolk County Council leaders pledged to find new uses for the land, to help generate extra income to pay for services.
But, three years after controversial plans for an incinerator there were finally dropped, some concerns still remain that a waste facility could still be developed if the land is sold into private hands.
And Miss Kemp, whose Clenchwarton and Lynn South division includes the site, says she has little faith in County Hall officials to find the best solution for the area.
She argued that the authority should adopt the same approach as it did to the re-development of the former RAF Coltishall and conduct a full public consultation on what to do with the area.
But she added: “They always prioritise Norwich. We have to have a mindset that only the best is good enough for Lynn. I don’t think officers are trying hard enough.”
Earlier this year, Miss Kemp suggested the site should be used as a park and ride, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the town centre.
But county officials said such a measure would have to be part of a much wider transport programme for the town, while West Norfolk Council leaders claimed it was not the right place for such a scheme.
She now says the site should be used to provide start-up units for new businesses, which would help to replace the jobs that are expected to be lost when Gardman closes its facilities in the area later this year.
She said: “Sometimes you have to be flexible. The borough is an important stakeholder.”
Miss Kemp plans to consult parish councils and local residents on the issue over the coming weeks and has held discussions with regional business leaders.
She added: “There is a wealth of experience and skill out there.”
Anyone who wants to take part is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07920 286636 by July 31.