Canal Quarter masterplan Lancaster City Council p Lancaster City Council

PRP has drawn up the Canal Quarter masterplan. via Lancaster City Council

Lancaster starts search for Canal Quarter partner 

The city council is seeking a development partner to deliver the first tranche of homes within the 16-acre masterplan. 

Lancaster City Council is looking to award a £13m contract for the delivery of the first residential phase within the city’s Canal Quarter masterplan. 

The project would be built on the Nelson Street car park, one of several sites within the masterplan earmarked for homes. 

The triangular site comes in at just under an acre and is located next to Lancaster Canal at the southern tip of the masterplan area. 

Tender documents published by Lancaster City Council state that the authority is “seeking bids from housing developers or consortium to promote and develop an early phase market housing scheme.” 

The documents add that Nelson Street has been “identified as an opportunity to bring forward much-needed homes in the first phase of the regeneration”. 

Working with PRP Architects, Lancaster City Council unveiled its vision for the area last October.

Overall, the masterplan area, which stretches southwards from St Leonard’s Gate to Quarry Road, would comprise 580 homes, two public squares, and more than 75,000 sq ft of commercial space. 

The Lancaster Canal Quarter is intended to become a 15-minute neighbourhood under the masterplan vision, with additional pedestrian and cycle-friendly streets encouraging access to Lancaster Canal. 

Canal Quarter masterplan Lancaster p.consultation

The masterplan area. Credit: via consultation documents

At the heart of the proposal is the former Mitchell’s Brewery, which is set to become a landmark building in the quarter. 

Other aspects of the Lancaster Canal Quarter vision include extending Duke’s Theatre, improving the public realm, and enhancing the existing ginnels in the area to create interesting pathways for pedestrians to explore. The plan also calls for stepped canal access. 

Lancaster City Council owns the majority of the site and PRP will also work with private landowners within the area to create a coherent plan that features homes, hotels, offices, and a prominent cultural and artistic offer.  

The main privately-owned site within the Canal Quarter, previously known as Canal Corridor North, is the 2.5-acre former brewery.  

The site was previously owned by a joint venture between Worthington Properties and fund manager Revcap.  

However, following the developer’s collapse in 2019, Revcap went into partnership with Riverstone Developments to bring forward the site’s redevelopment.  

Elsewhere, Maple Grove Developments, part of Eric Wright Group, has an option to redevelop another site within the Canal Quarter, the former Heron Chemical Works.  

The masterplan follows the blueprint laid out in a strategic regeneration framework for the Canal Quarter, drawn up by Planit IE and Avison Young.  

A previous retail-led iteration of the Canal Quarter scheme was brought forward by British Land in 2013 but the partnership between the council and the developer was terminated in 2018 and British Land sold its interest in the site to Worthington the following year. 

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A great scheme. Looking forward to seeing this reach fruition.


Hopefully not all the car parks in the city centre will be given over to flats etc. People still need to be able to come into town to shop etc. £16.20 on the bus for a family of 4, before anyone suggests public transport.

By BLS Bob

When did we vote on 15 minute city’s ? We don’t not not need these ! Stop

By Jake Moreton

Jake, why would you NOT want a 15 minute city? Do you want your city to be LESS convenient? And take MORE time and hassle to get around and access shops and services etc? How many other planning policies have you voted on?

By Anonymous

The 15 minute city is the opposite for what Greater Manchester have been trying to create where residents are all expected to work, dine and shop in Manchester after sitting in traffic for an hour

By Anonymous

BLS Bob very true it’s safer, quicker and nicer by car too, I took my child on a tram in Manchester and there were people fighting!

By Anonymous

Jake – I didn’t vote for every street and road to become a traffic sewer and a danger to walk down but that’s what’s happened

By Anonymous

15 minute cities are a form of control and definitely a move in the wrong direction for our cities 😫

By Anonymous

Really happy to hear that Lancaster is finally going to be rejuvenated, creating lots of new much needed housing. But there is no mention of new schools or health services to accommodate this?

By Anonymous

Terrible idea, Lancaster is dead as a city centre, its soulless and embarrassing, its somewhere nice to visit for 1/2 a day on a sunday and thats about it, this will be final nail in its coffin, so glad i moved when i did. Shops are a waste of time, parking, one way system, and public transport are a joke. Even Longridge has far more to offer and that’s only a large village…its such a shame it doesn’t use its best assets to sustain and enhance its future…..stop telling people what we need and listen to what we want.

By Paul ireland

When is the public consultation on this?

By Adam Woodruff

What does the Council think it is doing to Lancaster. Do you not want to bring more people into this historic Town. Nelson Street Car Park is a well used and a convenient parking facility. Hopefully the new Eden Project will bring more visitors into our Town. You will make it impossible for visitors shoppers to park. Think of the retail outlets do you want more empty shops and even less facilities for residents of Lancaster. The infra structure is appaling there are insufficient NHS doctors and dentists in the town. The train services are non existent. The Council should take a look at the state of the pavements and roads they are all in need of repair. When do the local residents have an opportunity to have a say in what is intended. Yes the Coucil will get money from Centrsl Government for brown site development but how will our Council match it.

By Anonymous

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