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New urban enhancements for Southgates

Image of The South Gate

Published: Thursday, 10th February 2022

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk has commissioned BDP to prepare a new masterplan for the redevelopment of the Southgates area of King’s Lynn.

Urban designers and town planners from global design consultancy, BDP, have been commissioned to prepare a new plan for the historic Southgates area of King’s Lynn. The masterplan, which will be put in front of the local community for consultation in Spring 2022, will seek to establish a vision, design principles and concept layout to enhance the setting of the South Gate itself and explore opportunities for development of the long-term, under-utilised brownfield sites around it

The masterplan will form a key component of the council’s regeneration plans as part of the Town Investment Plan and the Heritage Action Zone programme with Historic England.

The plans will make recommendations on the best combination of development and land-use to sustain long-term economic activity and create an attractive and active gateway to King’s Lynn.

Tessa O’ Neill, Town Planning Director at BDP, explains:

“Through smart urban planning and analysis of the surrounding infrastructure, land and property and subsequent design opportunities, we aim to make the area more attractive and welcoming to visitors and stimulate local economic growth in the town centre.

As part of the plan, BDP and its partners will continue to assess local highways, public realm, landscaping and walking and cycling connectivity to the town centre - taking particular note of the sensitive setting of surrounding heritage assets including the South Gate, which is a Historic England Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building.

Tessa O’Neill continues:

“As urban planners and designers, we understand the local importance of the South Gate and the plans present a flexible approach to future development, which builds on previous local evidence and feasibility studies. We are a team of practical and strategic thinkers, and our masterplan supports the protection and enhancement of the historical environment and finds a sustainable balance between supporting modern, active, accessible routes into and out of the town centre while attracting a wider range of people and more vibrant levels of activity.

“A flexible plan like this can bring significant transformation and social value – both for the local community, and also as a catalyst of regeneration. We are certain it will improve the perception and local and wider-regional draw of King’s Lynn.”

Cllr Graham Middleton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said: “The South Gate is an iconic building within King’s Lynn, providing for many their first impression of our historic town. This is clearly a great opportunity for us to enhance this area and the setting of this impressive monument.”

Cllr Richard Blunt, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration, said:

“There is a delicate balance to be achieved in developing a plan for this site and surrounding area. Ensuring that its heritage is preserved, and its use and setting is enhanced, is paramount, while making sure we have suitable, sustainable access into the town. The development of this masterplan is very exciting and throughout the process stakeholders and members of the public will have an opportunity to have their say.”

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England said:

“I’m pleased to see the creation of this masterplan for the historic area of South Gate and would encourage the people of King’s Lynn to get involved and offer their thoughts. The Grade I listed South Gate is an important local landmark and tells a fascinating story about its role as guardian and gatekeeper of the town. It is important that this remarkable monument is at the heart of plans to revitalise this area of King’s Lynn, as a visible marker of entering King’s Lynn, for people to experience and enjoy into the future.”

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