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New road maintenance depot planned for King's Lynn site

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Proposals for a new highways depot to be sited close to a major Lynn road junction have been submitted to planners.

Highways England is seeking permission to develop a new facility at the Freebridge Park site off Clenchwarton Road, West Lynn.

The site is just off the Pullover roundabout, where the A47 meets the A17 and close to the existing Shell garage, McDonald’s restaurant and Premier Inn hotel.

The proposed depot is intended to help keep key routes like the A47 open.
The proposed depot is intended to help keep key routes like the A47 open.

The application, if approved, would allow for the development of a single storey office and garage/workshop building, salt barn and associated service yard, car parking and landscaping at the site.

Documents which have been submitted as part of the planning application to West Norfolk Council said Highways England was “undergoing a national exercise of strategic operational requirements for new depots in various locations across England.

“The trunk road network around King’s Lynn is one of 12 such locations.”

The report added that the scheme was necessary to ensure that the organisation could meet its contractual requirement to complete work to clear snow and ice from roads under its remit within two hours.

Although the gritting of most roads in West Norfolk is the responsibility of Norfolk County Council, the maintenance of trunk roads like the A47 is held by Highways England.

The paper said: “As a result, new depots in locations that allow HE to meet this requirement are required.

“The depots will also resource other highway works as necessary, whether programmed or required at short notice.

“In addition to suitable access for HGVs, an unrestricted (i.e. 24hr) operational day will be required.

“This is necessary as gritting operations take place on a 24hr basis and a significant amount of maintenance and repair work takes place overnight when traffic is light and sections of the highway can be reduced to a single lane or closed.”

Borough council planning officials have indicated they expect to make a decision on the application by around the middle of January.

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