Major refurbishment of King’s Lynn housing estate Hillington Square wins approval
A King's Lynn housing estate is to undergo a major refurbishment after the project was praised by West Norfolk Council planners.
The scheme will see some parts of the Hillington Square complex demolished, the flats upgraded and the whole site opened up to tackle crime and integrate it with the rest of the town.
Freebridge Community Housing has been developing the plans for nearly two years, working alongside architects, celebrity designer Wayne Hemingway and the residents themselves.
The application was approved at a meeting this morning (Monday), despite some members' concerns about the loss of parking spaces at the site.
Chairman Vivienne Spikings said: 'I have seen the slow but steady decline of Hillington Square over the years. This is going to be a fresh start for people and it's going to bring an absolute zing to the area.
'They have taken a lot of time and a lot of trouble. It's costing us a lot of money and I think it's being put to good use. For me, it puts the 'king' back into King's Lynn - it is a king compared to what we have now.'
Internal improvements are to include new kitchens and bathrooms, while externally there will be private accesses for the ground floor bedsits, landscaped communal areas, new stair towers and an overall reduction in the number of homes from 319 to 302.
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Different colours will also be used to give the blocks their own identities and street names re-introduced so the flats feel like part of the town, the meeting heard.
The plans also include an equipped play area, some raised beds where vegetables can be grown and the removal of passageways to give people more privacy.
It is hoped work will start shortly and some residents will be re-housed while the refurbishment is carried out.
Freebridge chief executive Tony Hall said while the project would be sympathetic to the surrounding area, he wanted the complex to look to look different to signal change.
The project will see the number of parking spaces reduced by 64 to 175, mainly through the conversion of some garages at the complex.
Officers said many of the existing garages were only used for storage, so supply would still meet demand.