Controversial development 'would not be financially viable'

Parkway development

Thousands have signed a petition or sent letters of objection to the Parkway development citing loss of trees and wildlife habitat - Credit: Chris Bishop

Controversial plans to build on open space next to land earmarked for housing are no longer viable says a new report.

Thousands signed a petition against proposals for 379 homes on two parcels of land off the Gaywood Parkway in King's Lynn, fearing loss of wildlife and habitat.

The new leader of West Norfolk council, which was behind the scheme, has announced it will scaled back and confined to former playing fields on the western side of the site, which has been allocated for housing.

Some 260 homes will now be proposed, while a report to the council's ruling cabinet says a bridge across a railway line to link the new sites will also be abandoned.

Announcing the change Stuart Dark, the authority's new leader, said: "When I took on this role I said we would be reviewing our major plans and projects to ensure they are the right things to do, given how much the world has changed over the last 15 months or so."

The report to cabinet, which meets on Tuesday, June 15, says: "Whilst work on the financial viability has not been fully concluded on the entire scheme to date, it is possible to conclude with certainty from the information already at hand that development on the eastern part of the site would not be financially viable and would not deliver the original objectives of the project wholly or sufficiently."

It explains restrictions on access into the Fairstead estate from the new highway and bridge over the railway required by Norfolk County Council Highways reduce the "intended connectivity benefits" of the development.

And it adds: "Given the uncertainties surrounding cost benefits of the overall scheme impact and the reduced benefits that the bridge will deliver cabinet is requested to consider whether to progress the consented scheme or reconsider an alternative."

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Councillors have ben recommended to approve drawing up an alternative scheme which will then become the subject of a separate planning application.