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Council asks for comments on Local Plan


Lancaster Plan Key Diagram. Click to enlarge
Lancaster Plan Key Diagram. Click to enlarge
Chris Satori

Lancaster City Council has formally published its new Local Plan and is seeking public opinion on whether it is ‘legally compliant and sound’. The Local Plan documents, supporting information and details on how to comment are available at

The final draft plans for just over 12,000 new homes across the district, including Bailrigg 'Garden' Village, and also includes details of where new housing and employment sites will be built to help create potentially 9,500 new jobs, predominantly in construction and through the Port of Heysham, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria, based on predictions made in 2015 of increased immigration and growth in all these sectors through to 2031.

The Council's consultants, Turley, had previously assessed local housing demand as very high based on their 2014 projection that 13,000 new jobs would materialise in the Lancashire Enterprise Zone. That didn't happen, but the assessed need for new professional-income housing in the Plan has remained unchanged. 

The Plan also includes land allocations for the open spaces, shops and community facilities necessary to create places in which it predicts people will want to live, work and do business.

Councillors formally approved publication of the Local Plan in December and there is now an eight week period in which people can comment on the final documents before they are submitted for examination by an independent planning inspector. The deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday April 6.

CLOUD meeting planned

Local campaign group CLOUD will be holding a general meeting later this month (date to be announced) once people have had a chance to examine the Plan to discuss their next steps. The group are concerned that the unprecedented amount of greenfield development being planned is based on inaccurate and inflated figures, and that the council is failing to predict or deal with the severe flooding already being caused by a combination of climate change and haphazard development of greenfield sites. The climate change issue is forecast to get worse, and there is not as yet any funding in place to deal effectively with it, or to provide the major infrastructure needed to mitigate the present annual destruction or the greater problems anticipated as the areas affected by flooding continue to grow. 

The draft Plan notes that 'The risks from flooding will remain a key challenge into the future with approximately 23% of the district being located in Flood Zone 3 (areas that are identified to be at the greatest risk from flooding).' It goes on to conclude that 'Development proposals in areas of known flood risk will be expected to consider their direct and in-direct impacts on flooding and include appropriate mitigation measures to ensure water is managed correctly.'

During the recent floods local residents pointed out a number of sites already approved for development by the Council, which had assessed them as not presenting any flood risk. Sites that were deep underwater. 

Lifting our eyes to the future

Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for planning and regeneration, said: “It is important to remember that the Local Plan is about the future.

“Today’s circumstances will not be tomorrow’s and we need to lift our eyes to the horizon. This plan looks ahead to where today’s children will live, work and raise families in 20-25 years.

“It sets out a strong vision for the future and one which I believe will enable people to thrive and prosper, wherever they live in the district."

Anyone who doesn’t have access to the website can contact Lancaster City Council for a representation form by:

Tel:    01524 582383
Post:   Regeneration and Planning, Planning and Housing Policy Team, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster Town Hall, PO Box 4, Lancaster,  LA1 1PJ