Plans to build on green belt land at Bolton-le-Sands and Slyne-with-Hest were deferred at last night’s city council meeting.
Councillors agreed that the discussion should be put on hold until the full draft Local Plan is debated.
Residents have urged the council not to build on land between Manor Lane, Slyne-with-Hest, and Greenwood Avenue, Greenwood Drive, Greenwood Crescent and Pinewood Avenue in Bolton-le-Sands.
Some are concerned it would lead to a loss of the two village’s separate identities.
A petition signed by more than 1,100 members of the local community was personally handed over by residents to Coun Janice Hanson, head of the planning committee, before the meeting.
The petition strengthens public opposition already evident from 340 letters written to the council in their recent consultation.
A comprehensive accompanying speech was given by Allan Denham, a member of the ‘Save our Villages, Save our Green Belt’ campaign group, who stated “GB4 [the area of green belt land in line for housing development] was originally designated to separate the two communities of Bolton-le-Sands and Slyne-with-Hest, a function which it still admirably performs today.
“The land meets not one but all five policies of the National Planning Policy Framework for green belt land.”
It was stressed that if GB4 were to be developed, the high value site overlooking Morecambe Bay and the Lake District would see the construction of expensive luxury homes to maximise developer’s profits, thus creating a lose-lose situation.
Lancaster would lose valuable Green Belt, Slyne Conservation Area would lose its two principle views and new workers coming to the area would lose the opportunity of sustainable homes close to areas of work.
Councillors concluded that GB4 will go through the Green Belt review process along with other proposed sites and would be carefully assessed with public opinions respected.