King’s Lynn set for 4,500 new homes

Town at centre of borough strategy for growth

King's Lynn will be the centre for growth over the next 15 years – with the strategy including 4,500 new homes and new employment and retail development.

Lynn will see the major growth as a sub-regional centre with the additional 4,500 new homes within the town and adjacent villages of North and South Wootton, West Winch and West Lynn. The town has already seen development of around 2,500 homes since 2001.

There could also be expanded industrial areas and retail provision to extend the town centre area towards Railway Road via the bus station.

Much of the development is centred on Lynn, with 44pc of all the new housing and 75pc of the industrial or business space to create jobs.

Some 1,000 new homes could be developed as part of the 'urban expansion' of central Lynn with a further 1,600 towards West Winch and 2,000 to the north of the town.

The document outlines Lynn as being the 'engine of growth' for the borough while maintaining that the range of services available in Gaywood would be: 'protected so that it can continue to provide a nucleus for new local business.'

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But the infrastructure to support such growth would require huge investment in the town, not only by private developers but also by the public sector and utility providers – with electricity providers already warning that Lynn is close to the limits in terms of capacity.

A study for the potential impact on the town in terms of infrastructure has identified what needs to be addressed for the proposed growth over 15 years and beyond.

The town could see an additional police station, fire station, new library and schools as a result of the plans – but it is unlikely the entire list contained in the document will be provided as elements are dependant on both the national economy and public sector cash availability.

There would also be a need for an additional multi-storey car park in the town and a �400,000 scheme to expand parking for the West Lynn ferry.

There may be the need for �6.4m to extend town primary and high schools as well as a new �5m primary in the West Winch area and �3m for a new primary west of North Wootton. The expanded education facilities would be designed to cater for further population growth.

The need for housing with care and care homes is specified in the strategy, but whether privately or publicly funded remains to be seen.

The overview of infrastructure needs is broad, and also allows for continued growth in the area beyond 2026. Some of the costs – such as school expansions – could be met through Section 106 agreements which compel private developers to make contributions towards the bill.

The strategy is a wide overview of the area and the final details - site specific allocations – will not be out for public consultation until later this year. But it lays a set of policies for the future of West Norfolk which, if adopted by the full council in July as expected, will determine the way the borough develops over the first quarter of this century.

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