Councillors extend Lynn retirement flats proposals, amid row with developers

PUBLISHED: 14:03 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:39 03 November 2014

The old grain silo site, South Quay, King's Lynn. Picture taken from the bank at West Lynn.

The old grain silo site, South Quay, King's Lynn. Picture taken from the bank at West Lynn. PHOTO: IAN BURT

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Plans to build dozens of retirement homes in King’s Lynn have stalled, amid a row over whether the developer should pay for affordable homes.

McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd were given the nod to build 37 apartments on the South Quay King’s Lynn silo site on July 29 - subject to securing a section 106 agreement in three months.

The developers have failed to agree a clause in the agreement in which they would put money towards the future provision of affordable homes.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk borough councillors reviewed the proposals at a planning meeting yesterday.

Councillors unanimously agreed to give the developers an extra month for the section 106 agreement.

Should McCarthy and Stone fail to do so, the council would likely make an appeal.

Councillor Vivienne Spikings said: “It is very displeasing the bullying stance which the developer’s are taking.

“The need to give people affordable housing is essential and it is something we have to take a very strong stance on.”

Earlier this month the developer won a planning appeal to build a similar retirement complex in Hunstanton - in which it argued that the council’s call for a £360,000 contribution towards affordable housing provision was too much.

A government planning inspector decided that the company’s offer of £30,000 was enough.

The same difficulties are facing the silo site, with the developers stating there isn’t enough “financial headroom” to put money towards off-site affordable housing.

A report to the planning committee said: “The ramification of the Hunstanton appeal decision is that this stance by the council is considered to be neither necessary nor reasonable on development of this scale.”

Councillors expressed fears that the council would “get a hiding” if it goes to appeal.

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