Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

King’s Lynn Preservation Trust has very serious concerns about the the Borough Council’s proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate. The council’s scheme would by-pass the historic gateway and create a new large road to connect the Southgates roundabout to London Road.

King’s Lynn Preservation Trust to express our very serious concerns about the proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate.
Alternative impression of how the new entrance to the town could look as visualised by Matthew Rice

Lorraine Gore
Chief Executive
Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

17th August, 2020

Dear Lorraine Gore
Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

I am writing on behalf of King’s Lynn Preservation Trust to express our very serious concerns about the proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate.

We believe that the proposals to re-route traffic to by-pass the gate will greatly erode the significance of both the South Gate and the town. Entrance to the town through the gates and along London Road is a spectacular introduction to the town. These proposals will deprive visitors of that very special sense of arrival that is given by passing through a major historic gateway. Setting it to one side of the carriageway will take it out of the direct public view and assign it a purely decorative role. King’s Lynn’s historic assets should be centre stage in proposals to revitalise the town – not side-lined in this way.

Protection of the integrity of the structure and the immediate environment of the Gates must be the top priority. However, this could best be accomplished by diverting the largest vehicles via other routes to the heart of the town and/or limiting their size.
It is completely unrealistic to imagine that the proposed new road layout will significantly improve traffic flow and aid the economic well-being of the town. We should not be repeating the mistakes of the 1960s and 70s when so much of the historic environment was sacrificed to make way for the motor car. Research has shown that great economic value comes from focussing on, and celebrating historic assets. King’s Lynn is still well endowed with great buildings and it should make the very best use of these to reinforce the sense of place and confirm it as somewhere that residents and visitors value.

At a time of unprecedented and profoundly upending change, it is more than ever important to be imaginative and innovative in the defence and promotion of the town’s unique architectural and historical assets. They should be regarded not just as a footnote to the town’s heritage but an integral part of King’s Lynn’s 21st century social fabric. We urge you to make much better use of any new funds that you receive to improve the town’s heritage offer – including refurbishment and re-use of existing town centre buildings to restore the community to the town centre.
Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Balaam
Chair

Thoresby College, Queen Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1HX
Telephone: 01553 763871 Email: mail@klprestrust.org.uk Web: www.klprestrust.org.uk