King's Lynn affordable homes scheme on Losinga Road 'will help people live without fear', council committee told
Council plans to build dozens of affordable homes in North Lynn have been hailed as a vital step to help people fleeing domestic abuse rebuild their lives.
Members of West Norfolk Council's planning committee unanimously approved the authority's proposal for land between Losinga Road, Salters Road and Waterside, subject to the completion of legal agreements, on Monday.
Concerns were raised about lost trees and access for walkers and cyclists during the debate at Lynn's town hall.
But committee member Elizabeth Nockolds highlighted a letter of support for the application written by a woman who was rehoused in the area by the council.
The letter, which was outlined in officers' report to the committee, said the unnamed woman would "forever be grateful" to the authority for its help when she and her daughter were fleeing from domestic violence.
It went on: "Because of the Borough Council taking us in we are safe.
"With refuges full and underfunded this housing is vital for people fleeing from abuse.
"I hope Kings Lynn Council take this into consideration and vett the proposed occupants and this could be a blessing to the area as all domestic abuse survivors want is a fresh start to rebuild their life without fear."
A total of 78 properties are proposed for the site, which has received funding from a central government programme to speed up housing developments.
The committee was told that just over two thirds of the properties would have solar panels fitted.
And more than a third are also set to have parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points.
But concerns were raised during the meeting about the level of provision for walking and cycling through the area.
Cycling campaigner MJ Ray claimed the development breached the council's own policies by failing to provide a link to the National Cycle Network.
He said: "It’s absolutely key if we’re to avoid adding yet another car dominated development."
And committee member Jo Rust said proposed cycle links to the existing bridge over the Bawsey Drain were insufficient.
She said: "I go along that cycle route a lot. I don’t think the link is good enough and we should be doing all we can to encourage cyclists along that route."
Mrs Rust was also uneasy about proposals to remove a mature oak tree to make way for the development, a concern echoed by fellow committee member Sandra Squire.
She said that action was only necessary because of the design of the site, adding: "We should be designing it the other way."