Public feedback shaping proposals for King’s Lynn riverfront

Public feedback shaping proposals for King’s Lynn riverfront
The Custom House overlooks the river

Proposals are being written for King’s Lynn’s riverfront based on feedback from the public and stakeholders.

On Thursday 1st February, an event was held at the Custom House for the consultation on the Riverfront Regeneration proposals. The event, which is part of a wider programme of engagement around the project, had around 200 attendees, whilst over 150 responses were received to an online survey.

The Riverfront Regeneration proposals are a result of King’s Lynn’s Town Deal, part of the wider Town Deals Programme by the government, which aims to ‘regenerate towns and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth’. This programme saw £25M in funding awarded to King’s Lynn in 2021 and the development of the Town Investment Plan.

The consultation was led by the borough council and local people were asked to give their views on the Custom House. 73% of respondents voted in favour of the proposals for flexible use of the iconic building.

Attendees were also asked what they would like to see the building used for. Suggestions included educational activities, local arts, lecture space, and local history interpretations.

Changes such as fewer openings to the arcades at the Custom House and revisions to the height and number of lighting columns on Purfleet Quay are being made to the proposals in line with the feedback received.

In addition, Norfolk Museum Service are assisting in designing interpretations for the Custom House and these will take into consideration suggestions for local history, art, and education.

Councillor Alistair Beales, Cabinet Member for Business with the Borough Council commented: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views in our consultation, either at the event or through the online survey.

“The Custom House is an iconic building and we are fully committed to ensuring that it is carefully and sensitively restored in a way that is respectful of its heritage. Like everyone, we want to see it once again open its doors for public use.

“We have listened to what we have heard and accordingly we are in the process of adapting the designs to reflect key emerging themes from our public feedback, and our conversations with conservation officers and Historic England.”

During the consultation, feedback was also received on potential plans for a derelict site next to Devil’s Alley. 73% of respondents said they would visit the area if it was developed as a public realm.

Individuals shared suggestions for the Devil’s Alley site such as providing community gardens and allotments, holding summer and winter fairs, and having pods where artists could paint.

In response to this feedback, there will be features for adult games built into seating areas and additional bike facilities will be incorporated into the designs.

Councillor Beales added: “We have a fantastic opportunity to revitalise the riverfront, and we know how much local people value this area as our survey revealed that 75% of respondents visit the riverfront at least monthly.”

Andrew Stevenson, King’s Lynn Town Deal Board’s Champion for the project said: “We are taking on board the insight and ideas we have gained throughout our consultative process so that we can refine the proposals for the riverfront to reflect people’s aspirations for this area.

“With the Town Deal funding, we have a fantastic opportunity to bring new facilities, enhance existing ones, and create new reasons for people to spend time in this part of the town.

“We look forward to sharing the revised proposals, shaped by feedback, in due course as we move this exciting project forward.”

The proposals for the riverfront are due to be submitted for planning later this year.

This is the first phase of the regeneration of King’s Lynn’s riverfront, a project which has the potential to set the tone for further investment and improvements in this area.

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