Story Homes The Jefferson
The Jefferson, one of the housing types within the Story portfolio

Story tipped to advance in Lancaster

Neil Tague

The Cumbrian housebuilder looks likely to secure the green light for 55 homes off Ashton Road, a site where it failed to win approval in 2016.

The 4.7-acre site is agricultural and is bound by the A588 Ashton Road and the Lancaster Canal. The scheme has been redcued from its earlier iteration, and with Lancaster currently unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply, approval is recommended.

In planning terms, the site is described in planning documents as “relatively free of major constraints” falling within the Lancaster South “broad location for growth” which includes the Bailrigg garden village. The site is 3km south of Lancaster.

Story Homes, which is advised by Avison Young and Urban Green, is seeking outline consent for residential development of up to 55 homes, and a new access from the A588.

Although more detail will be provided at reserved matters stage, an illustrative masterplan shows the site’s public open space situated largely to the western fringes of the site, with development proposed in four parcels.

Story’s earlier application for the site proposed 125 homes within a boundary that also included fields to the north and south of Pinewood Close.

This scheme failed to win over committee on several grounds, including impact on highways and the lack of active travel options making it unsustainable – in the renewed scheme, planning offiers report that “critically” the problematic southern part of that application has been removed.

For the current application, 26 letters of objection have been received, along with an objection from Cllr Abi Mills questioning its sustainability.

However, with Lancaster unable to demonstrate a large enough pipeline of deliverable housing, approval is recommended on the basis of 30% affordable housing provision and contributions to bus services and highways improvements, along with an education contribution to be determined at reserved matters stage.

Approval secured by Story this year include a 119-home phase at Waterside in Preston’s Cottam while last month it revealed a further 167-home project in Lancaster.

Lancaster’s planning committee will consider the application on Monday 19 July.

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