District housing plans up for discussion

The third urban extension option is for a large site on land based on Cuckoo Farm, between the Ridge, the M6 and Lansil Golf'Course. This could provide a site for 1,500 dwellings and new employment land. This site plan is illustrative.
The third urban extension option is for a large site on land based on Cuckoo Farm, between the Ridge, the M6 and Lansil Golf'Course. This could provide a site for 1,500 dwellings and new employment land. This site plan is illustrative.

Councillors were this week set to discuss plans for up to 14,000 new homes to be built across the district.

Earlier this year Lancaster City Council identified eight potential options for housing, including increasing the size of Lancaster and building on greenbelt land and expanding existing villages.

A public consultation was launched to ask people where they thought were the best places to build the new developments.

But Green councillors Tim Hamilton-Cox, Dave Brookes and Caroline Jackson were expected to ask cabinet members on Wednesday evening for the housing requirement recommendation to be subject to an independent academic review.

They wanted councillors to recognise that the potential implications of over-allocating land for housing for distinct communities across the district, and for the environment, are severe.

They said there is a significant risk that the recommendation, if adopted, would lead to a very considerable over-allocation on the basis of forecasts for job creation, and projections for population and household formation, which are disconnected from recent trends and which

incorporate assumptions which are not sufficiently tested.

However, Conservatives said they would oppose the motion, which they said would further delay the creation of a Local Plan for Lancaster district.

Conservatives believe a Local Plan is vital, but even without any further delay it is unlikely such a plan will be in place before Spring 2017.

They accept that houses need to be built, want to develop our brownfield sites and protect our rural environment so that the right houses get built in the right places.

To achieve that we need a Local Plan. Without a Local Plan any green field could be the target for a predatory planning application (excluding designated Green Belt Areas).