Pressure builds for Lancaster’s canal corridor

Part of the Lancaster Canal Corridor site on St Leonards Gate.

Part of the Lancaster Canal Corridor site on St Leonards Gate.

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Anger is mounting after an inquest into a controversial £75m city centre shopping scheme was rejected.

Proposals were put forward to ask Lancaster City Council to review its entire backing for the Canal Corridor North plan even if it meant pulling out altogether.

British Land will just sit on this, we are not scared of them, it needs developing

Coun Andrew Gardiner

Conservative Coun Andrew Gardiner blasted the lack of progress on the site.

He said: “The deal has gone, if British Land want to come back in they’ll come back in quickly.

“British Land will just sit on this, we are not scared of them, it needs developing, we have got part of the land.”

Developers were first assigned 10 years ago to transform the area bounded by St Leonardgate, Moor Lane and Edward Street into a 
mixed-use development with shops.

Coun Caroline Jackson expressed concerns over the impact the plans had on the existing city centre.

She said: “People seem to think it’s just a derelict area, we have two theatres there and it is having an affect.”

Coun Tim Hamiliton-Cox emphasised he was not asking to scrap plans but to ask council officers to look at the implications of withdrawing from an agreement with developers British Land.

But the plans for a review were rejected.

Deputy council leader, Coun Janice Hanson, said: “While we all want to see progress as soon as possible, we should take account of what the council officers who are in contact with British Land are advising us - and that is that it would not make sense to pull the plug on the development agreement.

“They have promised that advice will be presented to cabinet soon and it is surely sensible to wait until then before considering how this development can best be taken forward.”