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Flats earmarked for approval after initial proposals branded ‘ugly’

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A major revamp of decaying tower blocks in the heart of a Norfolk town has been earmarked for approval after previous designs were thrown out for being “ugly” and reminiscent of Soviet housing.Proposals to flatten three housing blocks Hillington Square and Providence Sreet community centre in Lynn to make way for 65 homes look likely to get the go-ahead when it comes before West Norfolk Council’s planning committee next week.The new plans drawn up by social housing company Freebridge Community Housing have been amended since they failed to impress in 2021.

An artists impression of what the buildings could look like

It says the scheme will provide affordable housing using low and zero-carbon technology that will respect the historic setting of the Grade II All Saints Church and nearby Jewish cemetery.The development is the final phase of the major revamp of Hillington Square, a 1960s housing estate that was built following the clearance of slums in the town.Over the years the structures became less attractive and better known for crime and a desperate need of revitalisation.In 2010, Freebridge started developing plans for regenerating the site, appointing celebrity designer Wayne Hemingway to the project.The earlier stages of the development earned Freebridge an award in 2019, winning the regeneration category at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS’) East of England Awards night.While it has not received any objections from statutory bodies like the Environment Agency and Norfolk Constabulary, a number of conditions have been suggested for the scheme to be approved.However, 50 letters of objection have been received from locals, with some worrying it could affect the historic church and cemetery during the construction process.Others complained about the lack of green spaces while one person described the recent changes to the proposal as “putting lipstick on a pig”.Despite this backlash, the WNC planning officer has recommended it is approved, arguing it will improve the standard of accommodation and were satisfied that it would not harm the wider conservation setting area.

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