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Views sought on plans for major new housing development in King's Lynn

A public consultation on plans for a major new development in Lynn, which would see previously separate parts of the town connected, is now live.

Views on the £85m proposals, which would create up to 380 new homes built on land either side of Howard Junior School and King’s Oak Academy in Gaywood, are now being sought by applicants West Norfolk Council.

The plans, which would link the Gaywood and Fairstead estates, would also see the creation of a new bridge to the Hardwick Industrial Estate which officials say would help relieve congestion and reduce air quality issues.

GV Picture of Land which is being Proposed for Possible New Housing Development for the Gaywood Area...Land between King's Lynn Academy Site (on right in pic) off Queen Mary Road/Parkway Gaywood and Howard Junior School. (29878392)
GV Picture of Land which is being Proposed for Possible New Housing Development for the Gaywood Area...Land between King's Lynn Academy Site (on right in pic) off Queen Mary Road/Parkway Gaywood and Howard Junior School. (29878392)

Dale Gagen, corporate project officer at West Norfolk Council, who has worked for the authority since 1980, said: “This is the biggest site we’ve ever done. It’s the most exciting scheme we’ve done which delivers so much for King’s Lynn as a whole and the area in general.”

The scheme, for which Lovell will be the main contractor, is focused around a split site off Queen Mary Road and Parkway in Gaywood, either side of King’s Oak Academy and Howard Junior School

The plans would see the 380 homes, a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedrooms, available for rent on three-year tenures, shared ownership and market sale.

Mr Gagen said the environmentally-focussed measures of the scheme, including air-source heating and photovoltaic panels on homes, are of top quality.

“I think what we’re planning to do on the eco-friendliness of the houses is better than anyone else has done in the country, to be honest, of this scale,” he said.

Properties with garages will also have charging points for electric cars, meanwhile for every one tree lost for the scheme, three new ones will be planted.

“We are really pushing the envelope on this site,” Mr Gagen added.

And the council is also proposing to buy 10 acres off-site to create a new area of woodland and habitat as part of its mitigation measures, with the Gaywood Plantation and Rookery area of woodland set to be protected.

Meanwhile the new bridge, which will have lanes for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, will provide a new connection point towards the A149, A47 and A10.

Officials say there will also be improved cycle and walkways through the development.

According to consultation documents, the development site is “centrally located with excellent cycle and pedestrian links to schools, employment areas, shops and the town centre which will encourage less use of cars”.

West Norfolk Council is hoping to submit a planning application in May or June, and by about September or October it should be known if it has been successful.

“At that time, I would want to be on site straight away to start building that bridge and access into the site,” Mr Gagen said.

“So what we’re proposing is, again because we don’t want to impact on the local communities, the first thing we want to do is to put in some of the road connectivity points, so we can get that bridge built and then use that as a construction traffic route for the remainder of the scheme.”

Mr Gagen said if the building work on the bridge was started in October, it would take up to 18 months to complete that work to allow the construction workers to have delivery of the site.

“I would expect the first house to be available within about two years of starting,” he added.

The authority had organised a drop-in consultation and information event on the project, which was due to take place at Gaywood Community Centre on Wednesday, but it was cancelled in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

People can instead have their say online, via West Norfolk Council’s website, and Mr Gagen said the council has letter-dropped 500 homes close to the development site with information and feedback forms so they can share their thoughts.

Visit west-norfolk.gov.uk/haveyoursay to respond to the consultation, which is open until April 2.

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