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Canal Corridor Plans Go To Public Enquiry

John Freeman

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears has decided that Lancaster City Council’s resolution to grant planning permission for the controversial Canal Corridor North planning application, which centres on a major shopping development, will be tested at a public inquiry.

The development, named Castle View by preferred developers Centros, encompasses a site is formed by the triangle of land bounded by Stonewell, Moor Lane, the Lancaster Canal, Alfred Street and St Leonards Gate.

No date has yet been set for the inquiry, although it is likely to take place later in 2009. The plan has been opposed by a number of groups and individuals, including the local It's Our City, who have offered alternate suggestions for the land. The group has thanked people who wrote in asking for the inquiry on its web site. "I'm getting so many positive messages which I will remember when we face up to Centros at the inquiry," Cal Giles told virtual-lancaster.

Centros Miller, now Centros, unveiled its initial plans for the Canal Corridor in May 2006, which include shops, a department store and some green space. The Musicians Co-op would have its own new building and both the Dukes and the Grand could see additional features. A multi-storey car park is also part of the scheme.

The inquiry will be a chance for all parties to make their case in front of an inspector who, after hearing the evidence, will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to whether the development should be given permission.

Coun Roger Dennison, chair of the council’s planning committee, said: “Lancaster City Council’s planning committee supported the application on the grounds that the development will help to further the regeneration of the district.

“What is important now is that the inquiry is held at an early date so the issues can be discussed, and a final decision issued, as soon as possible.”

• Any further correspondence concerning this application should now be sent to the Planning Inspectorate at:- The Planning Inspectorate PINS SAC(B)Room 3/17, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. Their telephone number is 0117 372 8918 and fax 0117 372 8181.

It's Our City Campaign Site
Centros' Castle View Development Site
Council Regeneration Strategy documents on the council web site (PDF files)
View our list of Planning Committe and Cabinet members, sourced from information in the public domain
• Read the
report Council planners seem to want to forget advocating two new food super stores for Lancaster and Morecambe, more quality shopping and careful consideration of "edge of town" retail developments which were among the findings of a 106 page report on Retail Needs in the Lancaster and Morecambe area (PDF document), commissioned by the Council in 2006.