A cyclist using Harding’s Way.

Changes to a King’s Lynn bus route are to go ahead, despite opposition in the community.

West Norfolk Council is to open a section of Harding’s Way to general traffic including lorries under a project approved by its planning committee this week.

Under the scheme, three new access roads will be built off the South Lynn end of the route.

Two of the new off-shoots would allow the council to access its parcels of land on both sides of the bus route, off Wisbech Road, ahead of any homes being built there.

The third access road would also serve any potential housing developments, but also allow HGVs access to the existing Overton’s site.

To open up Harding’s Way, the bus gate preventing other types of vehicles from using the route would be moved 15 metres further down the road.

The plans faced opposition from a number of groups including King’s Lynn Civic Society, the Campaign to Protect Rural England Norfolk and county councillor Alexandra Kemp.

There were fears the changes would impact on the safety of cyclists and pedestrians using Harding’s Way, and harm Harding’s Pits Doorstep Green.

The proposals are separate to the borough council’s riverside regeneration project which could eventually see the entire route opened to traffic.

But opponents suggested the changes would be the “first step” in changing the bus route into a general  highway.

Norfolk County Highways did not object to the application and, in a report to the planning committee, council officers concluded the  scheme would not result in any “significant detrimental impact on highway safety or prejudice existing users of Harding’s Way.”

Councillors approved the application at a meeting on Monday, with committee members all voting in favour bar one objection.

A range of measures are suggested as part of the council’s proposed waterfront redevelopment plan, including new flats, commercial space, additional watersport facilities and a new public square at Boal Quay.