Kids don’t want houses on village fields

Children from Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands who have written to The Visitor giving their views on plans to build houses on green belt in their villages.
Children from Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands who have written to The Visitor giving their views on plans to build houses on green belt in their villages.
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Children of Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands have begged our council not to allow new housing on fields in 
their villages.

One child said: “When I grow up there will be no green fields left”, while another said: “The cows will have nowhere to play”.

The kids gave their views in a letter to The Visitor.

Meanwhile David Morris, MP for Morecambe, has urged Lancaster City Council to scrap a plan to build houses on green belt land between Bolton-le-Sands and Slyne-with-Hest – effectively creating what some have called ‘Bolton-le-Slyne’.

In the letter, sent by parent Lesley Bryan from Slyne-with-Hest, Jack, aged nine, said: “It will be like living in London.”

Tom, aged eight, said: “The poor cute animals where will they live?” while six-year-old Emily said: “Where will people’s pets wee and poo then?”

The ‘Bolton-le-Slyne’ development is one of eight options for new housing across the district.

Others include increasing the size of Lancaster and expanding existing villages such as Torrisholme, Halton and Dolphinholme.

Last month Bolton-le-Sands residents asked Mr Morris to take a petition to the House of Commons demanding protection of the green belt. ​

Brandon Lewis MP, minister of planning, replied to Mr Morris saying a green belt boundary can be altered “only in exceptional circumstances using the Local Plan”.

Mr Morris said: “I hope that Lancaster City Council take into account the views of all the local residents in Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands and scrap the plan.”

At a council meeting last week, councillors threw out calls by the Green party for an in-depth review of plans for up to 14,000 new homes across the district.

There were fears amongst other councillors that an in-depth review would prove costly and delay publication of a new Local Plan, which will include new housing policy for the district.

Labour councillor Anne Whitehead proposed that the council ask consultants to use different data to recalculate original housing figures 
which said the Lancaster district will need up to 14,000 new homes by 2031 to allow for expected jobs and population rises.

Coun Whitehead said: “It is precisely because we want to protect green land in our district so far as is possible that we need to get a Local Plan in place as soon as we can and that is why we decided against requesting another, potentially lengthy, more expensive review.

“If we don’t have a Local Plan by 2017 the Government could prepare one for us and in the meantime developers will have a better chance of building where they want to rather than where we would prefer them to.”

No firm decisions have yet been made. A draft green belt review for North Lancashire will be published in the new year.

A draft land allocations document for new housing, part of the Local Plan, will go before the public in summer/autumn 2016.