Housing scheme scaled down after huge public outcry

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

Plans for a major housing development are being scaled down after thousands objected.

West Norfolk council agreed its own plans to build 379 homes off the Gaywood Parkway in King's Lynn, despite a petition signed by 3,500 people.

Many objected to the loss of trees and wildlife habitat, including broadcaster Stephen Fry.

Stephen Fry. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Stephen Fry, who appears in the video by the Shakespeare's Guildhall Trust to celebrate the Bard's birthday - Credit: Simon Finlay

The scheme included 220 properties on former playing fields on the western area of the site and 159 on the eastern side, with a new bridge across the railway line serving the sand quarries at Leziate.

But today, the authority's new leader Stuart Dark said new proposals would be drawn up for 260 homes, which would all be built on the western side of the site, which has already been allocated for housing.

There would be no development on the eastern portion and the bridge across the railway line would also be withdrawn.

Independent councillor Jo Rust spoke against the scheme at the April meeting of the planning committee.

Parkway development

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

She said: "I'm sure there will be many who share my relief.  There were many who were pleased when Stuart Dark took over as leader because he seems like someone who's willing to listen to others."

Special needs assistant Micaela Bartrum, who lives near the site, was trying to seek a judicial review of the council's decision.

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She said: "I'm ecstatic, I'm so pleased.  I've spoken to loads of people and everyone said the same thing - we're not being listened to, we're not being allowed to have our say. We're not against building houses, just not there."

Mr Dark 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.

"We asked officers to review this major scheme so that it could be brought before cabinet without delay, given its scale, the critical stage of the process we are currently at and the amount of public interest in it."

The council's cabinet will discuss the revised scheme on June 15. If they agree to scale down the development, the amended plan will be discussed by full council on July 8 before a planning application is submitted.