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New battle set to begin over major development plan on edge of King's Lynn

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An appeal against the rejection of plans for 600 new homes on the edge of Lynn is likely to be lodged this week, it has emerged.

Council chiefs say they are preparing to defend the decision to block the development at Knights Hill, which could go to a public inquiry before the end of the year.

The scheme was unanimously rejected by West Norfolk Council's planning committee in March, amid widespread opposition from local residents and representatives.

Protests like this one preceded the rejection of plans for a large development at Knights Hill, but developers have said they will challenge the decision
Protests like this one preceded the rejection of plans for a large development at Knights Hill, but developers have said they will challenge the decision

But officials warned at the time that the decision was likely to be challenged.

And agents acting for the applicants, Whistle Wood and Reffley Wood Ltd and Mr P De Grey Osborn, have now written to the authority to inform them of their intention to do so.

The letter, which has been published online by the council, said: "We intend to submit the appeal on or shortly after the 6th September 2019."

Richard Blunt, the authority's cabinet member for development, said they had not yet received the formal appeal, but confirmed they were expecting one.

He added: "We are preparing to defend it [the decision] at the moment."

In his report to this Thursday's scheduled full council meeting, Mr Blunt said it was "almost certain" that any appeal on the scheme would be dealt with through a public inquiry.

The notice of intent to submit an appeal estimates that the inquiry could last for up to four days.

Reforms designed to speed up the appeals mean an inquiry could start between 13 and 16 weeks after an appeal is submitted.

And Mr Blunt said that means a hearing could happen "potentially before Christmas."

Despite the application being rejected, concerns have persisted that the land still featured in the borough council's list of allocated sites for future development.

A letter on behalf of Castle Rising's parish council, which was one of several parish authorities to object to the scheme, called for the land to be removed from the allocations list altogether.

It said: "Any development of the site at Knights Hill would contravene many clearly stated council policies."

Ahead of the committee decision, borough planning officers had recommended the scheme be given the go-ahead, subject to the completion of legal agreements covering issues including the provision of affordable housing and the financing of improvements to the Wootton Gap road junction.

But councillors said the impact of additional traffic had not been fully accounted for, despite county transport officials insisting extra vehicle movements would not have a “severe” effect.

They also claimed the development would have an unacceptable impact on nearby heritage assets, particularly Castle Rising Castle.

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