Lancaster City Council has gone against the recommendation of its planning officers to grant consent for a 90,000 sq ft employment scheme in Carnforth.
SCP Investments’ application for the 12-acre site off Junction 35 had been recommended for refusal ahead of a meeting this week, but city councillors decided to back the scheme, arguing in favour of its job creation potential and the demand for employment space in the area.
The project sits next to a proposed Porsche showroom, which already has planning consent, and planning approval will allow construction to proceed across the whole site.
There are currently no tenants lined up for the space, which totals 90,000 sq ft; the developer’s outline permission is likely to be refined further at reserved matters stage.
Planners had previously argued the application had not provided “robust evidence” around demand, arguing: “given the speculative nature of the proposal it does not appear reasonable to suggest that it is meeting a specific, identified need in Carnforth.”
However, council members decided to heed the advice of local politicians, the chamber of commerce and the local town council to support the scheme, and approved it at a meeting on Monday.
Barton Willmore is the planning consultant; Hannah Walker, senior planner said: The approval of this development is great news for Carnforth. It will make a significant contribution towards meeting the demand for high quality employment floorspace in this part of the District and will enhance Carnforth’s reputation and attractiveness as a destination of choice that is open for business and supports economic growth.
“Local politicians, the Carnforth and Lancaster Business Networks, Chamber of Commerce and Town Council have all indicated their support for the scheme and have engaged proactively and positively throughout the planning process. We are pleased that they share our view that this investment is a great opportunity for Carnforth.”
Armistead Barnett and Preston O’Herlihy are the retained agents for the scheme.