Published: Wednesday, 28th September 2022
A public consultation on a new masterplan for the Southgates area of King’s Lynn is to run from 3-31 October.
The masterplan sets out how the area can be used to support economic growth and improve access to the town, while protecting and enhancing important heritage assets such as the South Gate itself.
Cllr Richard Blunt, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and development, said:
“This plan has the potential to transform the Southgates area and bring forward significant economic benefits for the town.
“It aims to show how carefully-considered development of the area could support the economy of the whole town. It aims to change the way people travel around the area by reducing the existing ‘bottleneck’ problems for cars, while promoting alternatives to car travel. It aims to enhance the heritage characteristics of the area, in particular the South Gate.
“These are bold ambitions but realising them could make this one of the most exciting improvements to King’s Lynn in decades.
“An enormous amount of work has gone into developing the masterplan so far. We have done a lot of research, taken expert advice and talked to local groups and residents of the immediate vicinity. All of this has shaped the plan to this point where we are ready to ask the public for their views.
“I am sure we will have plenty of interest and I hope people will share their views and ideas with us. These will be used to develop a final version of the masterplan that will serve as a blueprint for development in the area for years to come.”
Southgates has functioned as the southern entrance into King’s Lynn since the 15th century and is full of heritage assets that illustrate the town’s historical significance, most notably the iconic South Gate.
The site is a strategic location for both the King’s Lynn Transport Strategy and the Town Investment Plan, which identify its potential to create an improved entrance and major economic asset for the town.
In August 2022 Norfolk County Council submitted a Levelling Up Fund bid to government for the £24 million King’s Lynn Sustainable Transport and Regeneration Scheme – STARS. This could be used to fund some elements of the masterplan. The Government is set to announce successful bids later in the year.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said:
“Our £24m bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund is set to transform travel in this area, by building on other local transport improvements and supporting carbon cutting active travel, boosting public transport, improving safety and connections to green spaces, and protecting the landmark 15th century South Gate. We’ve been working closely with the Borough Council and local communities on the transport plans so far and I’d urge people to take a look at the wider masterplan and take this chance to have their say and help shape this ambitious vision.”
The consultation asks people for their views on a set of proposals to develop the area, which have been put together by BDP, an experienced practice of urban designers, town planners, architects and landscape architects, together with transport advisor, Urban Flow, and property advisor, Montagu Evans.
Tom Rudd, Town Planner at BDP, said:
“It has been fantastic to bring this masterplan forward and we are excited to share our plans with the wider King’s Lynn community.
“Since January 2022 we have worked collaboratively with the Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, Historic England, local community groups and residents of the immediate area around Southgates to prepare a practical plan for change that is truly capable of unlocking the area’s full potential.
“Impactful and regenerative placemaking is at the heart of these new proposals – placemaking that prioritises King’s Lynn’s unique heritage; reduces the dominance of vehicles; and better connects existing communities, the town centre and historic and natural assets, including the River Nar.
“Together, we want to design a celebrated place that provides the entrance to King’s Lynn that it deserves, contributes to high quality sustainable growth, and provides an exemplar approach to tackling climate change.”
BDP and the project partners have already held a number of engagement sessions with local interest groups, residents and businesses located in the area immediately adjacent to the Southgates area. Now the consultation process will be opened up to the wider public to allow all residents of King’s Lynn to shape the masterplan.
The consultation will be launched online at https://www.visionkingslynn.co.uk at 6pm on Monday 3 October with a presentation and Q&A session, chaired by Cllr Richard Blunt. The presentation will be recorded and available to view throughout the consultation period on the Vision King’s Lynn website.
Exhibition boards will also be on display at the Tourist Information Centre at Stories of Lynn in the Saturday Market Place (PE30 5DQ). Three additional drop-in sessions will be held at the Tuesday Market Place event cabin on the following days:
- Tuesday 11 October 11am-6pm
- Wednesday 19 October 11am-6pm
- Friday 28 October 11am-6pm
The consultation can be completed online at www.visionkingslynn.co.uk/southgates-masterplan or on paper at Stories of Lynn or a Tuesday Market Place drop-in.