Decision day for Gaywood Parkway development in King's Lynn

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

Today is decision day for controversial plans to build 379 new homes on green space and woodland in King's Lynn.

West Norfolk council wants to develop the 48-acre site which lies south-east of the Parkway in Gaywood and includes land on either side of the railway serving sand trains from the quarries at Leziate. Its proposals include a new bridge over the single-track branch line, along with new roads and landscaping.

Councillors have been recommended to approve the plans when they meet this morning (9.30am). 

Parkway development

Proposals include land on either side of the sand line and a new bridge across the railway - Credit: Chris Bishop

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.

Opponents say the plan will lead to the loss of trees and wildlife habitat. One objection quoted in a report to councillors states: "There is no need for more houses to be built in Gaywood, the fields and woodland that is earmarked for building is home to countless animals including foxes, Rabbits, deer, voles, shrews, common lizards, green wood peckers, owls and bats. Not to mention the trees some of which are a hundred years old."

There are also fears over traffic on Queen Mary and Gaywood roads an the impact hundreds of new homes would have on infrastructure including schools.

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

The report says: "The importance of addressing the need for new homes in the Borough is greater than ever in these increasingly challenging times.

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"The new homes would comprise a mix of one, two, three and four- bed properties, accommodated within house types including flats, detached, terraced and semi-detached properties. The accommodation mix offers a wide range of choice for purchasers and social landlords, with open market, private rented sector, affordable rent and shared ownership options."

The report adds: "Retention and, where possible, reinforcement (through additional planting) of the existing green infrastructure has been fundamental to planning the layout of the scheme. The mature trees within the Cross Belt and Swaffham Belt are therefore predominantly retained, established formal and informal routes across the site are retained and improved, and substantial green buffer zones are retained along the southern edge of the Rookery and Gaywood Plantation woodlands."

It concludes the development would provide "good quality, and much needed, new market and affordable housing in a highly sustainable location". The virtual meeting will be broadcast on the council's YouTube channel.