Agenda item

To receive a presentation from officers.


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The Chair raised concerns that Southgates proposals had been discussed numerous times in the past and hoped that the previous comments and discussions from the Panel had been incorporated.  The Assistant Director explained that this review that had been commissioned and built upon what had been discussed in the past.


In response to a question from Councillor Morley it was explained that the consultancy work to produce the Masterplan was following the approval of Cabinet in June 2021 and that decision included a percentage of funding to be used for consultancy work.  Councillor Morley requested a breakdown of the funds used for the consultancy work.


Councillor Jones hoped that previous comments from the Panel had been taken into consideration in preparing the Masterplan and the Assistant Director explained that this would be covered in the presentation.


Officers and the consultants provided the Panel with a presentation on options for the Southgates area, as attached.


The Assistant Director introduced the item and explained that this was part of the Future High Streets submission which was not successful, but had been identified in the Town Investment Plan for future funding.  However the area was an important gateway into the town and it was important to look at opportunities for the area so that there were proposals ready to be submitted for future funding opportunities.


Members were informed that they had further opportunity to put their views forward in a questionnaire, which would be circulated to Members after the meeting.


The Chair thanked the officers and consultants for the presentation and invited questions and comments from Members, as summarised below.


Councillor de Whalley was concerned about the potential loss of green space and commented that any loss needed to be mitigated.  He also commented that promoting active travel was important.  He asked if King’s Lynn Bicycle User Group had been consulted as they would be able to provide valuable input.


Councillor Bone commented that any proposals should not be to the detriment of local businesses when it came to parking spaces.  He also made reference to the importance of retaining and extending green spaces.  It was also clarified that the pub mentioned in the presentation was the one on the roundabout.


Councillor Morley explained that, to secure future funding, any projects needed to be practical and he supported the phasing of development. 


The Chair, Councillor Collingham explained that the key was funding and commented that the proposals needed to be adaptable to any funding opportunities and it was important for the three scenarios mentioned in the presentation to be built upon. 


Councillor Bambridge commented that Local Councillors had not yet been engaged in the stakeholder’s process and she hoped that local residents would also be included.  She raised concern relating to development on contaminated land, traffic management and manholes under the park.  She also made reference to the surrounding side streets and hoped that these would not be forgotten.


Councillor Moriarty commented that it was important to target the levelling up funding and match the Governments timetables.  It was explained that as soon as the next round and future round timetables were known options would be looked at.


Councillor Kemp addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34 and commented that green space should not be lost.  She also made reference to Hardings Way and the Southgates Park.  She commented that any consultation needed to include the residents and Local Councillors for South Lynn.


The Vice Chair, Councillor Gidney made reference to traffic flow through the Southgates and queuing capacity.  He hoped that the proposals would be kept attractive, simple, practical and affordable.  Futureproofing and phasing was important.


The Chair acknowledged that the project had to have potential and possibly be ambitious in order to attract funding and would need to provide measurable outputs.


The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Development, Councillor Blunt explained that this was a complicated and difficult project.  It was a significant area and an important entrance to the town and any development needed to reflect that.  Any proposals needed to be deliverable and outputs needed to be measurable.  He commented that the time for this was now and it would not be put on the back burner again.


The Assistant Director explained that there were future funding opportunities available including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Levelling Up funding and more guidance on the timescales for these funding opportunities would be available in the spring.


Councillor Ryves addressed the Panel under Standing Order 34.  He made reference to Hardings Way and the need for housing.  The Regeneration Programmes Manager confirmed that this project did not include the area around Hardings Way.


The Chair thanked the consultants for attending and awaited receipt of the questionnaire.


RESOLVED: The information was noted and the comments from the Panel would be considered as appropriate.

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