Planners back major homes bid on edge of King's Lynn
Proposals for hundreds of new homes on the edge of Lynn are being backed by council officials, despite growing public opposition.
Campaigners against the plan for 600 properties at Knights Hill have praised what they described as the “tremendous” public support for their cause and urged objectors to turn out in force when the plan is debated next week.
But officials have urged members of West Norfolk Council’s planning committee to back the scheme, subject to legal agreements, at a special meeting next Wednesday.
A report, published this week, said: “Your officers are content that, subject to the imposition of reasonable planning conditions and obligations, the general principle of this level of development on the site is considered acceptable.”
The report also revealed that more than 900 people have so far signed a petition against the development, and more than 400 have written to the council to voice individual objections.
Signs have been put up next to routes around the site this week urging others who have not yet commented to do so ahead of the meeting.
And resident John Marrow, a leading figure in the campaign against the plan, said he hoped residents would turn out in force for both the meeting and a site visit which is due to precede it.
He said yesterday: “The support is tremendous and we are really grateful for it.
“We hope that, in spite of the officers’ recommendations, transparent democracy will be seen to be done.”
The recommendation advises committee members to approve the scheme, subject to legal agreements on issues such as affordable housing provision, environmental management and improvements to the Wootton Gap junction to be finalised within four months of the decision.
If that does not happen, members are advised to turn it down.
The application, by Whistle Wood and Reffley Wood Ltd and Mr P De Gray Osborn, also allows for a local centre, commercial space, green spaces and a car park for Reffley Wood, among other infrastructure.
They say the scheme has been developed in line with the borough council’s own framework for future housing development in the borough.
But its opponents also include local MP Sir Henry Bellingham who, in a written submission discussed in the officers’ report, argued the scale of the development proposed was far too large.
He said: “The sheer scale of this estate and the impact on both the environment and local roads means that it should not be given permission to go ahead.
“I would support a much smaller development of about 200 houses. The obvious advantage is that would give everyone a chance to see what impact this would have on both the environment and highways.
“If some of the worst fears were not realised, then there might be an argument for extending this into a phase two.”
But officers said: “The proposal would ensure that the living conditions of existing and future residents would be protected from any materially detrimental impacts whilst providing much needed housing within the borough.”