Campaigners voice fresh concerns over scaled down homes bid

Campaigners at the protest day on site at Parkway in September.

Campaigners pictured at a previous site visit last year. - Credit: Nature Volunteer Network

Campaigners who petitioned against a homes bid on a disused field say they are relieved the plans have been scaled down - but that they still have concerns.

A revised planning application has been submitted for the Parkway development in Gaywood to West Norfolk Council (WNC) after an original plan for 379 homes was ditched earlier this year.

The new scheme seeks permission for 226 homes on the former College of West Anglia playing field site, with associated green space, landscaping and infrastructure. 

Thousands signed a petition to Save Lynn's Wild Woodland Wetland against the original development on two areas of land, fearing loss of wildlife and habitat.

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

Speaking about the new plans, Paul Kunes, cabinet member for environment at WNC, said to protect the environment there will now no longer be development on the eastern side of the site.

Jenny Walker, creator of the petition, said campaigners are "relieved and pleased".

She said: "It was the right decision on many counts - green space, pollution, risk of flooding, precious wildlife habitat."

But she said the revised plan still raises concerns, with the loss of green space for local people, pollution, "increased danger" and congestion from vehicles from the extra homes and risk of flooding among them.

Ms Walker said though the council had recently declared a climate emergency, it needed to back that with actions.

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She said: "The Local Government Association suggests that 'for councils to decarbonise, it is vital that consideration of carbon impact forms part of every decision the council makes'.

"There is no evidence that the council has followed this advice."

A WNC spokesperson said the site has been allocated for housing development for many years in the Local Plan.

They added: "The issues raised will be considered as part of the planning application and included in the officers report that goes to planning committee.

"In developing the borough council Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan we considered a wide range of policy advice from multiple publications, including the Local Government Association.

"Following the declaration of a climate emergency, the borough council adopted this strategy and action plan, which details our approach to climate change.

"This document will develop over time as we consider further advice and policy guidance as and when it’s released."

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