Work is under way on a major housing development which has been dogged by controversy and rising costs.

Some 226 homes are being built by West Norfolk Council (WNC) off the Gaywood Parkway, in King's Lynn.

Earthmovers have now moved in to level the site before building work gets under way.

There were calls for the project to be shelved earlier this year, after it emerged costs had increased from £48m to £54m.

But councillors voted 27 - 15 to continue at a meeting in February, after hearing the scheme would deliver badly-needed affordable housing once work is completed in 2026.

Opponents also called on the government to call in WNC's decision to allow planning permission, saying roads around the site were already "a pinch-point for congestion".

But the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said it did not intend to review the decision.

Eastern Daily Press: Work on levelling the Parkway site is now under wayWork on levelling the Parkway site is now under way (Image: Chris Bishop)

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The Parkway development has been in the pipeline since 2020.

WNC had initially proposed to build almost 400 houses with 159 of them on land which would be accessed via a new bridge across the railway line serving the sand quarries at Leziate.

But 3,500 people including broadcaster Stephen Fry signed a petition objecting to the loss of trees and wildlife habitats.

The council went ahead and gave itself planning permission in April, 2021.

But the scheme was shelved two months later after its ruling cabinet heard it was no longer financially viable.

Plans for 158 homes on the eastern side of the site and the railway bridge were abandoned in favour of a smaller development on former College of West Anglia playing fields, between the King's Lynn Academy and Howard Junior School.