Lancaster civic groups welcome vision for Canal Quarter

Lancaster City Council's vision for future of Canal Quarter has been welcomed by Lancaster Civic Society.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:30 pm
The Canal Quarter from Penny Bridge. Photo by Google Street View

Lancaster Civic Society and its sub-group Lancaster Vision have agreed that overall the proposals are positive, but they point to a "missed opportunity" for the city council to deliver on its commitment of “socially just use of land and property”.

Civic society chairman John Regan said the groups welcomed the publication of this document and are encouraged by the scale and ambition articulated and reassured by the commitment to protect and build upon the existing heritage, townscape, and landscape assets of the area.

"Overall, we are impressed by the depth of analysis underpinning the proposals and are pleased to see a commitment to the highest standards of design and energy efficiency," he said.

John Regan, chair Lancaster Civic Society.

"We also agree that an element of flexibility should be retained through the mechanism of the Framework Plan.

"Both Lancaster Civic Society and Lancaster Vision welcome the presumption against the provision of further student accommodation and are pleased at the recognition of the need for affordable and social housing.

"However, we believe that the Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) should also make specific mention of the opportunity that exists to utilise some of the council’s land holdings in the area to facilitate the provision of social housing.

"This a missed opportunity for the city council to begin to deliver on its commitment to the “socially just use of land and property”.

"Whilst it is accepted that there is a need for the retention of some car parking within the area we believe that consideration should be given to the provision of underground car parking on the northern part of the side.

"It is recognised that the site is in a multiplicity of ownerships and we believe that it would be helpful if the SRF contained a plan identifying the extent of these.

"Lancaster Civic Society would support the concept of an ongoing stakeholder mechanism to ensure ongoing community engagement in a structured manner.

"Given the scale of this initiative and other strategic projects that the city council are promoting we would ask whether the authority has sufficient in-house capacity to deliver this increasingly ambitious agenda."

Full details of the proposals for the Lancaster Canal Quarter can be viewed here.