Go-ahead for Gaywood Parkway development

Parkway development site

Part of the land south of Parkway in King's Lynn which has been earmarked for 379 new homes - Credit: Chris Bishop

Plans for hundreds of new homes have been given the go-ahead despite objections on environmental grounds.

West Norfolk council submitted plans for 379 new homes on 48 acres of land off Gaywood Parkway. The proposals included a new bridge across the sand line which serves the quarries at Leziate.

But more than 3,500 people have signed a petition against the development, while 242 have also objected on the council's online planning portal. Many were opposed to the loss of open space, trees and wildlife habitats. 

Planning officer Helen Morris said 220 homes were proposed for the west of the site and 159 for the eastern area. She said the two would be linked by a new road through the tree belt, while "extensive public open space" was included in the plan and "as many trees as possible" would be retained on the site.

She added the new bridge across the sand line would carry vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and connect to the Hardwick Industrial Estate via a new link to Rollesby Road. She said  planning officers had recommended councillors approve the scheme.

Trudy Clark, from the Nature Volunteer Network, said the eastern side of the site was home to endangered water voles, 57 species of birds on the red or amber conservation list had been recorded on it and the reedbed it contained was of the rare alkaline variety.

Councillor Charles Joyce said Queen Mary Road would become "a rat run" and have to carry construction traffic if the bridge and link road were not built before the houses.

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Councillors heard there were planning conditions saying the bridge should be built before the occupation of the 260th dwelling.

Councillor Tony Bubb said the amount of litter on the site was "amazing". He added: "This was supposed to be somewhere the locals cherish but they just dump their rubbish there." 

Committee chair Chris Crofts said the new link road and bridge would "massively improve" traffic issues in the area and ease pressure on roads around the Gaywood Clock.

Jo Rust said the loss of trees and breeding birds was "of significant weight against the proposed scheme". She added: "I do not believe we have done enough to mitigate against it."

Terry Parish proposed councillors reject the development because the eastern side was not previously allocated for housing, the council already had an adequate supply of housing land and the scheme would damage biodiversity.

Vivienne Spikings said the scheme was "a vital development". Mr Crofts said elements of the development far outweighed any possible harm and it would delivery good-quality, much-needed new housing within walking distance of schools and shops. He said it was difficult to identify a more sustainable site.

Mr Parish's proposal was defeated by 10 votes to seven. Eleven councillors agreed to the recommendation, while six voted against, meaning the development has the go-ahead.

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