New homes plan could quadruple village population

Lancaster City Council's potential plan for development in Dolphinholme.
Lancaster City Council's potential plan for development in Dolphinholme.
  • Residents worried village is being turned into ‘small town’
  • Dolphinholme identified for housing by Lancaster City Council planners
  • 14,000 new houses needed across borough by 2031

A village could see its population quadruple after it was revealed that 500 new houses could be built.

Dolphinholme, which currently has a population of around 250 people, is facing huge swathes of new development that could radically change the face of the community.

At the moment there isn’t enough houses for people to move into and if these plans were to go ahead it would provide future generations with somewhere to live instead of them having to move away

Planning and housing policy manager, Lancaster City Council

It comes after news that villagers in Nateby are mobilising to fight similar plans for housing, shops and employment space over 35 acres in their community.

The potential plans emerged at a public consultation meeting and members of Dolphinholme residents’ association say they are “furious and worried” as they believe it would turn their small village into a town.

Dolphinholme has been earmarked as one of the places which could face major development as part of Lancaster City Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment which is evidence that goes towards the local plan.

The SHLAA investigates which land is most suitable for development as the council look to find locations to build up to 14,000 houses across the borough by 2031.

Allen Norris, a 63-year-old environmental scientist, who lives on Abbeystead Road in the village, said: “This could ruin what we have strived for so long to keep. The village is slowly growing by itself with small developments here and there but it’s a small tight knit community. Almost everyone in the village is a member of the residents’ association and we don’t want to see this happen.

“If we wanted to live in a town we would, but we chose to live in a village and if this was to go ahead it would ruin Dolphinholme.”

But Morris Brophy, planning and housing policy manager for Lancaster City Council, says this could provide homes for people who don’t have them.

He said: “We need to find room for all these houses and this assessment shows us the places which are most suitable to build.

“We are still working on the local plan and probably won’t adopt it until 2017. That doesn’t mean planning applications won’t go in before, but we have a big responsibility so each application would be looked at carefully. At the moment there isn’t enough houses for people to move into and if these plans were to go ahead it would provide future generations with somewhere to live instead of them having to move away.

“We still want to protect the area’s heritage but we have to find places to build the 14,000 houses. Of course work would be done to improve the infrastructure of a village like Dolphinholme which could mean more services or expanding some existing ones.”

Do you agree with the plans? Do we need more homes or should we be fighting to save our vilager heritage? Have your say below