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.
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.