King’s Lynn link road approved for a second time, but councillor claims debate is a ‘con’

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A new road that would serve controversial housing developments proposed in North Lynn and Gaywood has been approved for the second time today.

Members of the West Norfolk Council planning committee voted 10 to four in favour of the route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport during a special meeting this morning.

But the debate was adjourned for almost an hour after UKIP’s Paul Foster successfully called for a site visit to assess concerns about the scheme’s impact on nearby communities.

He argued that, in the area around Reid Way and Front Way, the proposal did not meet minimum safety requirements for pavement width.

And he repeatedly called for a figure for the expected increase in traffic levels to be provided, questioning how officers’ claims that the road would provide some slight air quality benefits could be made.

But officers said they could not provide such figures, instead pointing to the non-objection by Norfolk County Council roads officials.

Setting out the case for the scheme to go ahead, project officer Dale Gagen told the committee the road would enable the development of improved community facilities in the area as part of future housing schemes.

He added: “This application makes the King’s Lynn road network more robust.”

Conservative Avril Wright said: “I think the proposal will benefit the area enormously, and the whole of King’s Lynn.”

And fellow Conservative Andrew Morrison said the road would make access to Lynnsport much easier for people travelling in from routes to the north and east, such as the A148 and A149.

But Labour’s Ian Gourlay rejected the idea that they were solely voting for the road, describing that argument as “a bit of a con.”

He added: “I feel we should have a complete plan rather than just pieces of it. If we’re going to do it, we’ve got to do it well and I’m not happy that we’re ready to do it well.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat John Loveless said the road could be an opportunity to introduce a wider 20 mile per hour zone across the town.

Earlier, committee chairman Vivienne Spikings apologised to members of the public present for the breach of the council’s rules that led to today’s meeting being called.

At the initial meeting last month, objectors were not given the the time they were entitled to in order to make their case against the scheme.

And Mrs Spikings said: “We are open and transparent and honest and we’re taking it again starting from the beginning.”

But Sue Bruce, of the Lynnsport Area Residents’ Association (LARA), said the road would be “disastrous” for the area and argued the public could not have confidence in the committee to determine the scheme objectively.

Fellow resident Joy Franklin also called for a deferral so that concerns over potential flood risk could be addressed.

She said: “Financial consequences of granting consent, signing binding contracts relating to the road and moving forward with housing developments could be incredibly costly to us all if the outstanding issues turn out to be financially non-viable to resolve.”