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Marshland St James

King's Lynn, Kings lynn, Kingslynn


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Marshland St James . Com


Marshland St James at a glance;


Marshland St James is a sprawling village situated in North West Norfolk. The Local authority is the District Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk. The area is listed almost everywhere as being in Cambridgeshire and appears flagged under the town of Wisbech which it is claimed is the ‘capital of the fens’. It is however well inside the Norfolk borders and the correct address information for this and some of the villages in the area appears to be incorrect and potential mapping and delivery problems might therefore arise.



The village of Marshland has no central point and planning restrictions appear to have confined most of the residential building to a single long road which is called Marshland Smeeth. Along there can be found almost all the houses and developments and nothing much aside which gives a bleak appearance. The Smeeth Road runs for several miles and is sporadically developed.



The building used as a village hall is a corrugated sheet steel shed type structure. There is also a Second World War prefabricated hut on the opposite side of the road made from concrete slabs and wood. This building is unfortunately strewn in graffitti and has boarded up windows.



There is a small and pleasant infants school with a handful of pupils at the beginning of ‘School Road’ opposite a very large old peoples home/care centre which is adjoined by a secure unit housing both in and out patients. There are no village shops or services and no Post Office. There is a large haulage business which has been sited near the village crossroads. The road running through the village centre (Smeeth Road) is a busy highway lorry route. An industrial development on this scale in the middle of a village is unusual. It is where one would usually expect to see a village green.



At the back of Marshland Smeeth Road at the end of Jubilee Lane is a large Gypsy travellers encampment. Screened by a row of trees this travellers camp has planning consent and is apparently one of the largest sites in the borough. There is also now a second site for travellers in this village along Gooses Lane which is half a mile away. Expansion of this second site for Gypsy travellers (Planning reference; 11/01113/F) was supported by the local Parish Council in their recomendation for approval to the District Council dated 11th August 2011.



The air space above Marshland St James and the surrounding area is used as a training area for the RAF from several nearby bases. British and American fighters regularly fly through the skies at  low levels on training missions down to 250 feet.



Generally the surrounding area could be fairly described as open and flat with no trees, hedges or hills or anything to break up the landscape. It is below sea level and is kept from flooding by the constant pumping out of water via a series of drains and ditches. Marshland St James, as the name suggests is ‘reclaimed’ marsh. It would, in its natural state, be under water. The area is listed on the Environment Agency data bases as a flood risk. The local authorities apparantly have some contingency plans.



Issues related to air pollution may be due to releases from chemical sprays used on farm land. Chemical spraying of crops and land begins in late winter and continues up to the following November. During summertime the burning of waste can increase creating an acrid smell. This can present problems with windows open on warmer days. There are a number of dog kennel facilities in operation in and around the village. There are also plans by Norfolk County Council to build one of the largest waste incineration plants in Europe at Saddlebow which is a short distance away.



Power lines and telephone lines are mainly overhead. Telephone lines can be affected from strong gusts of wind as can the power lines causing disruptions to supply.



There appear to be numerous press reports in local newspapers related to crime in the area and the Police have posted crime warnings following what seems to be a systematic and prolonged period of break ins and thefts. Some properties have resorted to security fencing, flood lights, dog patrol signs, alarms etc. Serious crimes are not uncommon and again local newspaper reports show a history of repeated attacks on property, cars and outbuildings. A few of these press reports are reprinted on the crime page. According to press statements petty crime goes undetected or unreported and shops in nearby towns of Wisbech, Downham Market and King's Lynn have seen signifigant increases in theft as well as other offences.


The water supply is hard water.


Most telephone services operate normally and broadband is available at fast speeds.


Wind speeds can be high due to the open flat landscape.


Television reception can be diminished in some parts and high strength aerials  are sometimes unable to achieve reliable receptions. Check with networks to confirm if Freeview is available. The best way to get a watchable television picture is by subscribing to the Sky or similar digital Network and pay a monthly charge.


Trades men such as plumbers, builders etc are available as a local service but larger firms are some distance away.


The local council authorities are West Norfolk District Council and Norfolk County Council and are based at King’s Lynn (15 miles) & Norwich (70 miles).


There are very few local employment oportunities. You will need to work out of the area or be retired or have a private income.


Marshland St James can look bleak in appearance with a collection of properties that mostly run along a single stretch of road. There are no local shops or services and journeys into the nearest town will mean 25 to 30 mile round trips each time. Electricity cuts can present problems as can TV reception. Environmental issues such as noise and air polution need to be considered.


See below extract from local paper;

 Fens face climate change battle

Published in the Eastern Daily Press 15 March 2007 06:28

 "The Fens are more at risk from climate change than any other part of England, a conference heard yesterday.

Scientists, academics, farmers and clergy gathered at Ely Maltings to hear the Environment Agency's predictions for how global warming was likely to affect the low-lying area.

Julian Wright, the agency's principal officer for climate change, said: "Sea levels around our coasts are expected to rise by up to 15cm, while storm surges, like the one which caused the 1953 floods, will become more frequent."

David Thomas, chief engineer for the Middle Level Commissioners , said he was responsible for draining 70,000 hectares of land, where there were 223,000 properties, parts of which were up to 3m below mean sea level, though an exceptional tide could leave parts of the Fens 6m below sea level.

Mr Thomas said the whole area, drained by a series of interconnecting land drains, lodes and main drains, was drained by the pumping station on the Middle Level Drain at St Germans, which is nearing the end of its working life.

"That whole area is solely protected by that pumping station," he said.

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Borough Council King's Lynn & West Norfolk - Website ;


Flood Warning Information 21st October 2010 - Council website
Borough Council King’s Lynn & West Norfolk

"The Borough is at most risk from coastal flooding from August through to April. In particular this is most likely to occur when certain bad weather conditions and high tides coincide.
The Environment Agency issues warnings for flooding from major rivers and the sea.
Those living in areas that are liable to flooding should sign up to the free Flood Warning Service offered by the Environment Agency.
A Flood Warning Information booklet is available that gives more information about flooding in West Norfolk.

Copies can be picked up from our offices or it can be downloaded."


Annual Monitoring Report –  LDF (Local Development Framework) Task Group Amendments Gypsy & Travellers Housing


The following table shows the location and capacity of Gypsy and Traveller sites within the Borough and in particular within Marshland St James (Highlighted with bullet points for ease of reference). The table is in response to a survey conducted in October 2006. Whilst this is after the monitoring period covered by this report it seems more important to include the most up to date information with respect to this issue.

Gypsy & Travellers’ Sites Location Capacity Planning Status;

 Poplar Tree Farm, off Bailey Lane Clenchwarton 2 mobiles toilet block and scrap yard Enforcement Notice extant

The Orchard, Hall Road, Clenchwarton 2 mobiles Authorised Caravan site, opposite Crow Hall, Downham Market

7 mobiles + 5 tourers Authorised

Rear Haygates Mill, Bartons Drove, Downham Market 2 -3 mobiles Authorised

The Wroe, Emneth 2 caravans Enforcement not issued – site tolerated

Caravan site, Saddlebow Road, King’s Lynn 44 caravans Authorised

  • Goose Lane, Marshland St James western side 2 mobiles and Dayroom - Authorised
  • Goose Lane, Marshland St James eastern side 4 mobiles Authorised
  • One Acre, Jubilee Lane aka Hope Lane, Marshland St James 6 mobiles Authorised – tolerated
  • Orchard View, Jubilee Lane aka Hope Lane,Marshland St James2 mobiles Authorised – tolerated
  • Field View, Jubilee Lane aka Hope Lane,Marshland St James 8 mobiles several more that are vacant and in storage -Authorised – tolerated
  • Plot 1A, Jubilee Lane aka Hope Lane, Marshland St James 3 mobiles Authorised – tolerated
  • Plot 1B, Jubilee Lane aka Hope Lane, Marshland St James 3 mobiles Authorised -Tolerated

NB: Since 2006 (date of this information) more Gypsy & Traveller sites have been added, tolerated or authorised by the Borough Council in Marshland St James.


Whittington Hill, Methwold Road, Northwold 4 mobiles Authorised – breach tolerated

South Fork, The Common, South Creake 1 mobile Authorised

The Jays, The Common, South Creake 1 mobile Authorised



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