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Villagers fear lakeside leisure resort will shatter rural idyll

PUBLISHED: 15:46 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:03 28 August 2020

Jade Andrews, 25 and her five-year-old daughter Star Barlow out for a walk with Spirit the pony near the site of the proposed leisure development at Ashwicken Lake  Picture: Chris Bishop

Jade Andrews, 25 and her five-year-old daughter Star Barlow out for a walk with Spirit the pony near the site of the proposed leisure development at Ashwicken Lake Picture: Chris Bishop

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Villagers fear a leisure resort at a former quarry will shatter their rural idyll.

Ashwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges  Picture: Chris BishopAshwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges Picture: Chris Bishop

Developer Norfolk Farm Leisure wants to transform Ashwicken Lake, near King’s Lynn, with 154 floating and waterside holiday lodges.

It says the 200-acre eco-friendly development would bring 260 jobs and £8m a year into west Norfolk’s economy.

MORE - £35m leisure resort plan revealed for former quarry

But people living near the site believe it would also bring more traffic to the narrow lanes around Ashwicken and East Winch. They say the lake and the area around it is rich in birds, bats and other wildlife and have launched a website to campaign against the development here.

The new development plans at Ashwicken Lake. Picture: Baca ArchitectsThe new development plans at Ashwicken Lake. Picture: Baca Architects

Jade Andrews, 25, who grew up near the site, takes her five-year-old daughter Star and Shetland pony Spirit for walks along the lanes around the former sand pit, which was flooded after it was worked out around 10 years ago.

“It’s awful for every reason,” she said of the proposals. “It’s ruining nature again for the sake of human pleasure, there are all the birds that migrate every year, there’s thousands and thousands of birds come to the lakes.”

Entrance and exit roads to the site are shown as staggered in draft proposals from the developers, who say they will consult local people online before drawing up a formal planning application.

The new development plans at Ashwicken Lake. Picture: Baca Architects/Google MapsThe new development plans at Ashwicken Lake. Picture: Baca Architects/Google Maps

One woman living near the site said: “A lot of people are very upset about it. There are a lot of elderly people in the area who can’t attend webinars, who can’t look at a website. How can they have their voice?”

Another man said: “We moved here 14 years ago because we loved Norfolk, the big skies, the wildlife and the peace. The idea of a holiday camp doesn’t appeal.”

A female neighbour added: “A number of residents are really concerned about the short-term and longer-term effects this could have on the hamlet of Ashwicken. Only 500 people live in Leziate and Ashwicken. This could potentially bring another 1,000 people with the additional cars.”

Ashwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges  Picture: Chris BishopAshwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges Picture: Chris Bishop

Others fear the narrow roads around the site would not cope with construction or visitor traffic.

The virtual consultation webinar takes place on Thursday, September 3 (5-7pm). Residents can visit the project page website here to register to attend the webinar and learn more about the scheme.

Campaigners have also set up a website here.

Ashwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges  Picture: Chris BishopAshwicken Lake, near King's Lynn, where developers hope to build a leisure resort with floating holiday lodges Picture: Chris Bishop

Norfolk Farm Leisure was contacted for comment.


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