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Plans for 50 homes in Norfolk village would see loss of rock climbing facility

PUBLISHED: 15:05 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 29 August 2018

Fenrock Climbing Centre in Outwell, which would make way for a 50-home development's access road. Picture: Google

Fenrock Climbing Centre in Outwell, which would make way for a 50-home development's access road. Picture: Google

Google

A West Norfolk village has been earmarked for development, but could stand to lose a climbing facility in the process.

Cornwall-based developers Beech Property Investments Ltd has sought outline permission to build 50 homes in Outwell, near Wisbech.

The proposed site is to the west of Isle Road, with its access road touted to replace a warehouse currently occupied by Fenrock Climbing - a rock climbing centre in the village.

The centre opened in October 2016 and is on a temporary lease, which runs out in March.

This fact was enough for council officers to recommend the plans for approval, despite the facility’s presence.

A report going before King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council’s planning committee next week says: “The proposal will require the removal of the warehouse currently used by Fenrock Climbing Centre.

“This building is the subject of a short-term lease which expires in March 2019, so there is no barrier to delivery of this site for residential development - the leisure facility may be lost anyway in the near future if the lease is not renewed.”

A spokesman for the climbing centre said they were fully aware of the application and had been “kept in the loop” on all proceedings.

The applicants are currently just seeking outline planning permission for the two hectare site, meaning the exact specifics of the development are yet to be determined.

However, its design and access statement specifies it would bring a mixture of detached and semi-detached properties “with space for affordable housing provision, if a need exists in the village”.

The application has received comments from 10 members of the public, nine of which objected to it.

Gemma Newton, who lives opposite the site, said the plans would be “removing a thriving business, which is an amazing facility for the village to have and is well used and supported”.

There has also been objection from Outwell Parish Council, which raised concerns that the local primary school and GP surgery would not be able to cope with a development of this size.

The application will be determined at a planning meeting on Monday, September 3.

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