Developer protests Lancaster housing refusal
WVC’s managing director Warren Cadman said the committee’s vote to block plans for 70 homes on a greenfield site off Ashton Road “suggested limited knowledge of the development”.
Lancaster City Council refused the application in line with the officers’ recommendation, raising concerns over potential harm to valued landscape.
Warren Cadman, managing director of WVC, said: “We were not surprised by the outcome, but we felt extremely disappointed that the planning committee present yesterday did not give this application the careful consideration it deserved.
“Despite the planning officers comprehensive report, this suggested that some members had limited knowledge of the development, which was poised to deliver up to 70 new homes including a fully compliant 30% affordable homes contribution, £898,000 in S106 infrastructure contributions, and the highest ever energy efficiency standards for a development of this size in this district.”
Designed by architect RPS, the scheme would have provided 30% affordable housing provision on the eight-acre site, as well as a new T-junction off Ashton Road.
Almost three acres of green open space featuring a play area and picnic benches would have also been provided, however fears surrounding the project’s impact on the landscape persisted at committee.
Cadman continued: “We strongly assert that this application should not have been overlooked without debate and proper consideration, especially given the current housing need supply in this district, described recently by the Planning Inspectorate as woeful.
“Having turned down hundreds of new homes in recent months and with the loss of government infrastructure funding, which will see the development of South Lancaster put on indefinite hold, this district will take years to recover from these blows.”
Cllr Sandra Thornberry, chair of the planning regulatory committee, responded: “This was a very finely balanced case as the provision of affordable and market housing, open space, and education contributions all weighed in favour of the proposal.
“The main issues weighing against the proposal related to the harmful effects of the development on the urban setting landscape designation and the amenity and integrity of the canal corridor, together with a lack of detail to establish whether the local highway is capable of accommodating the scheme”, she continued.
“It is a highly valued landscape that forms a very important setting to the existing urban area and the setting and enjoyment of the canal corridor.”
The decision to refuse these homes comes as the city council hands back £100m government funding as it has gone back to the drawing board on plans to deliver a new layout for Junction 33 of the M6. This project would have unlocked access to the proposed Bailrigg Garden Village, a 5,000-home scheme.
More about the plans can be found by searching for application number 22/00885/OUT on Lancaster City Council’s planning portal.