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'Worrying precedent' warning over King's Lynn homeless accommodation proposal

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Plans to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people in North Lynn would set a "worrying precedent" because of where the buildings are proposed, a heritage group has warned.

Broadland Development Services, which is part of the social housing provider Broadland Housing, is proposing to build seven modular one-bedroom properties on land between Bryggen Way and Reid Way.

But West Norfolk councillors have been advised to reject the scheme when it goes before a planning meeting next week.

Planning Applications. (37559026)
Planning Applications. (37559026)

And the Lynn Civic Society has opposed the plans to build on land which it says is meant to be a buffer zone between existing residential areas and the nearby industrial estate.

The group said: "We object to a proposal that seeks to squeeze additional dwellings into an area of amenity landscape that has clearly been provided to provide an acceptable transition between different types of land use.

"It is regrettable that it would appear the BCKLWN have offered land to a housing association when development is unlikely to fit any sustainability goals.

"If this scheme is permitted, it would set a worrying precedent that would presumably give a greenlight to the borough property section to sell off any piece of public amenity land for development.

"How will that ultimately enhance our community?"

But Broadland says the site is not formally recognised as open space.

They argued: "There are sections of verge along its extent that contain mature trees and make a positive contribution in wider landscape terms.

"These sections of verge would not be affected in any way by this development."

However, West Norfolk Council officials have recommended that the authority's planning committee turns down the scheme when they meet next Monday, December 7.

They acknowledged that the scheme would help to meet an "identified and urgent need" for accommodation for homeless people that would also reduce the use of unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation.

But they said there would be "significant detriment" to the character of the area environmentally if the scheme is approved.

They concluded: "Clearly given the above this is an on balanced decision, but officers consider that that the positive benefits of the provision of the temporary accommodation would not outweigh the significant harm to the character of the area, and that the application should be refused."

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