After mass objections, protests, and a public inquiry, a controversial housing development will soon be taking shape after passing a major hurdle.

West Norfolk councillors have approved the 574-home Knights Hill project, which sits between the A149 and Grimston Road on the outskirts of King’s Lynn.

An outline of the Barratt David Wilson Homes development had already been approved but the latest application presented the layout and appearance of the site.

The development is split up into a number of different neighbourhoods of one to four-bed homes, each with a slightly different character and 108 of the properties will be affordable housing.

It is thought it could take until 2026 to build the hundreds of homes, which developers say will be built to a high quality and the site will include green open spaces to create a "healthy, safe and inclusive place."

But there continue to be a number of concerns which led to several parish councils and the Norfolk Coast Partnership objecting to the application.

Fears were raised about the design of the development that certain sections would be too cramped, leading to a "ghettoisation" of some areas - although officers said the plans are compliant with regulations.

Earlier proposals included the provision of a bus service through the site but this was missing from the latest application.

Eastern Daily Press: Signs were put up around the village in protest at the developmentSigns were put up around the village in protest at the development (Image: Archant)

The increased traffic caused by this development was highlighted as a major issue and it is expected the new homes in the area could lead to 12,000 more cars travelling along roads that are already at capacity.

Improved bus services, and bus services through the site, were part of earlier plans for the scheme but this has disappeared in the current application.

Ben Colson, who spoke on behalf of Castle Rising, South Wootton and North Wootton parish councils, said the condition to improve bus services was "necessary" and that the developer could not treat this as a "pick and mix menu" to choose from.

But since the outline application was already permitted, there were few changes that councillors could make.

Members voted to approve the development, which means building work can now go ahead.

A letter will be written to Norfolk County Council seeking to work towards addressing access to bus services to Knights Hill.

Eastern Daily Press: Castle Rising CastleCastle Rising Castle (Image: Archant)



For nearly a decade, proposals to build hundreds of homes on this patch of land close to a medieval castle have been hotly contested by locals.

People have been worrying since 2015 that the housing development would affect a number of heritage assets in the area -  the Grade I-listed Castle Rising castle, the church of St Lawrence, the remains of the church of St James and a nearby Saxon and medieval settlement.

When an outline planning application for the homes was brought forward in 2019, West Norfolk councillors decided to throw out the bid following a public outcry.

A 200-strong crowd who attended the meeting in March erupted into applause following the decision.

Many locals feared the scheme would be unsustainable, putting strain on schools and health services while also causing a huge increase in traffic.

But the following year the mood changed as the secretary of state overturned the decision following a four-day public inquiry.

In July 2020, the secretary of state's decision was announced, prompting anger among its critics, which included former West Norfolk council leader and mayor Nick Daubney and North West Norfolk MP James Wild.

Following the decision on Monday, developers can now begin building the hundreds of homes bringing an end to the long-running battle.