Fears raised over scaled-back housing scheme

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

Fears around traffic and bin collections have been raised by councillors over a plan to bring hundreds of new homes to King’s Lynn.

A new scheme for some 226 homes on the former College of West Anglia (CWA) playing fields - off Parkway, in Gaywood - has been submitted by West Norfolk Borough Council to its own planning department.

An earlier bid for some 379 homes on the site was scrapped after public opposition to the plan, including from writer and actor Stephen Fry, who attended CWA. 

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry had stated his opposition to the previous, larger bid. - Credit: Simon Finlay

The opposition - which was centred around concerns over the town losing its “last truly wild place” - caused the council to go back to the drawing board. 

But a planning sub-panel of the borough’s King’s Lynn councillors expressed several doubts about the new scheme at a consultative meeting on Thursday. 

Conservative councillor Lesley Bambridge said she found it “very surprising” that no members of the public had, as she understood it, objected to the plan - when hundreds had objected to the previous, larger plan.

As of January 24, some nine members of the public have in fact objected.

Councillor Lesley Bambridge

Conservative councillor Lesley Bambridge - Credit: IAN BURT

She pointed out however that the council’s waste and recycling manager had objected on the grounds that bin collectors would struggle to access parts of the site - as had the town’s civic society. 

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While the development’s design is heavily focused on cycle infrastructure, Labour councillor Ben Jones warned that the council also needed to prepare for a “worst case scenario” of up to 500 new cars being added by the scheme. 

Mr Jones said: “Don’t get me wrong - I’m all for green modes of transport… but if you’re a parent with two toddlers, you’re not going to be cycling, you’re going to be using a car.”

An officer said the county council’s highways department had assessed that there was capacity in Gaywood for the scheme’s traffic impact, and that they had not objected to the previous, larger scheme either. 

The development would consist of 23 one-bedroom, 78 two-bedroom, 95 three-bedroom and 30 four-bedroom homes.

Some 34 of the total would be affordable. 

The group agreed to take their concerns to the planning committee, which is next due to meet on February 7.