'Standstill' warning over West Norfolk housing development proposals
A vision for future housing development in West Norfolk has been backed by councillors, despite claims it could bring the Lynn area "to a standstill".
Public views are likely to be sought soon on a revised local plan for the borough, after it was approved at a West Norfolk Council meeting last Thursday.
But, although the plan is set to see an overall reduction in the number of new homes built, fears were raised about the potential impact on the area's transport systems.
Under the new proposals, 70 per cent of new housing is envisaged in a "growth corridor" to the south of Lynn, running between the A10 and the rail line to Cambridge and London.
But independent councillor Alexandra Kemp said the plan should not be approved at all until funding for transport improvements is secured.
She told members: "I’ve had representations from councillors as far away as the Woottons and Castle Rising voicing concerns about congestion on our roads.
"We need to deliver these improvements for everybody’s safety. We need that money, otherwise King’s Lynn will come to a standstill."
However, her bid to amend the proposal accordingly was rejected by borough Mayor Harry Humphrey, following from advice from legal officials.
Labour group leader Charles Joyce also proposed an amendment, calling for a site to be identified for a new hospital for the area.
He said: "We’re not saying where it should be. We’re just saying we need to have a good idea of where it’s going to be. We want a new hospital. No ifs, no buts."
But he later withdrew it, after council leader Stuart Dark warned adopting it could lead to an "unnecessary delay" in the fight to secure a rebuild.
He said the hospital's efforts were focused on redevelopment of the existing site off Gayton Road and a decision on that was expected by the end of the year.
Mr Joyce said he did not want to be the one to prevent the hospital campaign from succeeding.
But he claimed the plan was "not good enough" on issues such as minimum room size standards and development boundaries in part of his South and West Lynn ward.
He also urged councillors in coastal areas to do more to tackle the problem of large numbers of holiday homes, telling them: "It’s not down to Lynn councillors to fight the battle for those who live in the northern area of the borough."
Officials have previously indicated that the plan, which has to be approved by a government inspector before it can come into force, will reduce the borough's annual new homes requirement from around 700 to 539.