Housing plans for surgery car park denied

Fairstead Surgery. Picture: Ian Burt

Fairstead Surgery. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Plans to build seven new houses on a surgery car park have been rejected.

An application for the homes was rejected by 12 votes to five during a meeting of West Norfolk Council planning committee on December 2, amid concerns about a loss of car parking and community facilities as well as the "poor layout and design of the properties".

Plans were originally delayed on November 4, over concerns about who owned the land and whether residents would be able to access bins, bikes and their own car parking spaces.

Council officers recommended that councillors approved the plans at both meetings.

The new homes would have come with 10 parking spaces of their own and resulted in the loss of 14 spaces in the council's public car park.

The land was sold to developers by West Norfolk Council in 2007 after it deemed the car park to be surplus to requirements, and plans were part of the council's development strategy to provide more than 7,500 new homes through the regeneration of brownfield land.

None of the homes would have been deemed "affordable".

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Objections included from residents who said they felt the land should have been used to build a new surgery rather than houses, and some who felt the car park was not underused.

The Highways Authority had raised no objection to the plans, saying that with the exception of 3pm on weekdays when school children were being collected, the car park would have the capacity to cater for the area's needs with fewer spaces.

A public consultation by Healthwatch Norfolk into the future of the surgery found that the local authority should ensure that access to treatment was not blocked by new developments on the site.

On July 27 it was announced that the Fairstead Surgery was almost certain to close.

It came after Vida Healthcare, which operates the Fairstead Surgery in King's Lynn, said it was no longer fit for purpose.

It wants to close it and transfer patients to a surgery around a mile away on the Gayton Road.