Major regeneration planned in King’s Lynn town centre
Developers have unveiled plans for a hotel, more than 100 new homes and a shopping centre off the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn.
But councillors have deferred a decision after the firm behind the proposals appealed for extra time to overcome objections. Walker Commercial Properties, based in Scotland, is seeking outline consent for a 56-bed hotel, a bar/restaurant, 112 flats and houses, offices, 142 parking spaces and shops at Pattrick and Thompsons Timber Yard off the Tuesday Market Place.
West Norfolk councillors were recommended to refuse planning permission at a meeting yesterday, but deferred the application following a last-minute request from the applicant. In the coming weeks, the developer hopes to address the serious concerns raised by a number of organisations, including the Environment Agency, King's Lynn Civic Society and Associated British Ports.
Officers recommend the plans be refused on flooding, noise and air quality grounds, despite the site being included in an Urban Development Strategy published by the council in 2006.
A larger scheme expanding to the Alexandria Dock and back along North Street, with several access points, was considered, but the document was never adopted and has since been superseded by central government guidance and new strategies.
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The site lies in flood zone 3, meaning it would suffer from 'rapid inundation' if the flood defences were breached, a report to the planning committee states.
English Heritage only withdrew its objection on the agreement that height limits were placed on some of the proposed buildings. But The Environment Agency will not support the project unless there is a condition stipulating that no living quarters will be built on the ground floor.
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'The applicant has not demonstrated that the latter requirement is compatible with the height limits, so has not demonstrated that the site can be adequately protected from flooding without adversely impacting on the form and character of the area, including the conservation area,' the reports goes on.
'In short, they have not demonstrated that the number of units shown can be accommodated and protected from flooding without exceeding the height limitations on the site.'
The borough council's environmental health and housing team has objected, raising fears about poor air quality next to the operational port.
Associated British Ports has also objected, raising concerns about noise, security at the port and the affect the development would have on its licence.
Pattrick and Thompson, in Page Stair Lane, dates back to 1865 and will relocate to a dedicated timber engineering facility in Wisbech.
The 3.3 acre site, next to the 24-hour dock, stretches from behind Tuesday Market Place down to the sluice and currently houses several large industrial sheds, an office and showroom.
If the project goes ahead, a new entrance will be created and a four storey building containing shops and the hotel will front Page Stair Lane.
The six proposed town houses would be built behind the market place, while the 106 flats will be built in pockets around the site. The plans show open green spaces with 115 parking spaces for the flats, 12 for the houses and 15 for the offices and service vehicles.
Walker Commercial Properties has failed to offer the contributions to local primary schools and libraries usually required by developers, so officers recommend the application is refused on these grounds also.
The application is due to be discussed on May 28.