Housing scheme rejected for Lynn nightclub site

The former Pilot Cinema building in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The former Pilot Cinema building in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A proposed development to turn the site of a former nightclub and cinema into housing has been rejected by West Norfolk Borough Council.

The application by Freebridge Community Housing is thought to have been rejected by councillors as the design was not considered suitable.

The plans for the site, off John Kennedy Road, were on the agenda when the planning committee met on Monday, July 1.

Committee chairman Vivienne Spikings said: 'It's just the design that is a problem.

'There wasn't any amenity provision; there's a communal bike shed but that's about it.

'There are no green spaces, there's nowhere for any children who live there to go. It's just a flat block.

'There's also a constant hum at the back from the electricity station.

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'There's always a need for housing but we only get one chance so we have to choose the right development. Obviously you've got to put in some affordable housing but we also have to look at the best potential value of the site.'

Mrs Spikings added that Freebridge could be a suitable developer for the site but that it was a case of the proposal as it stood being rejected.

She said: 'Freebridge have done excellent work around the area.

'I feel sure they will take our comments on board and come back with a better proposal.'

First built in 1938 as the Pilot Cinema, the building has been out of use since Zoots nightclub closed in 2008.

Mrs Spikings added: 'Some members were upset at the demolishing of the building.

'It is certainly not being used the way it should be at the moment.

'It's not adding to Lynn's look, it is actually detracting from it.'

Tony Hall, Freebridge's community housing chief executive, has said that the housing provider will take on board the committee's comments.

He said: 'We accept the site is a difficult one to develop and as such note the comments of the planning committee.

'We wish to maximise the site's potential to meet the area's housing needs, so will be looking back at the designs in the light of what the committee has said and resubmitting new plans later this year.'

The proposals for the site are being developed through a partnership between Wellington Construction Ltd and Freebridge.

The rejected plans for the site included 28 dwellings, a mixture of flats and houses, all of which would have been affordable.

Also in the development was 18 car parking spaces as the developers believed the site's central location would have minimised need.