Residents who paid a premium for river views when they moved to a new Lancaster housing development are up in arms about plans for new four-storey properties on the bank of the Lune.
Lancaster Port Commission, based in Glasson Dock, has applied for permission to build the houses on a strip of land in New Quay Road, on what is understood to be part of the former port for Williamson Linoleum.
The patch of land is opposite a row of newly built three-storey homes, between the road and the river, and would obstruct their view of the river, which residents say they paid a premium for when they bought their properties.
Simon Cooper-Hutley, who moved into his new home last year, said the proposed development would be like having a block of flats built right on the riverside in front of his home.
He said: “When we bought the house, Barratts told us there were plans to landscape the land opposite. It was one of the reasons we decided to come and live here.
“Essentially we paid a premium for a river view.
“It’s disappointing really.
“We were promised everything when we moved in but it hasn’t quite turned out that way.”
Mr Cooper-Hutley said the land had a number of issues including that it could very easily flood.
A flood risk assessment however noted that the development would be acceptable as long as a number of procedures to mitigate flooding were put in place.
Mr Cooper-Hutley also said that the Sustrans Bay Cycle Way passed the site, and driveways would cause a serious problem for cyclists.
Dr Claire Tinker-Mill, who owns a property in New Quay Road, said in her objection statement to Lancaster City Council: “The shoring up of the current defences were paid for by Barratt Homes and Redrow and incorporated into the cost of the houses, and not provided for another company to take advantage of.”
The Lancaster branch of the Ramblers Association has also objected to the proposal, saying the likely path of the English Coastal Trail, due to be adopted next year, would pass the site.
UK estate agent and lettings company Savills is acting as agent for Lancaster Port Commission.
Mr Cooper-Hutley, originally from Nottingham, said: “The council have done nothing to preserve the history of the quay here.
“They could have at least put a plaque up. But it’s all gone.”
Adam Key, a director at Savills, said: “From our perspective it’s a previously developed site right in the urban area of Lancaster. The council is desperate to have more housing built, and this can make a difference to the housing need in the district. At the moment it’s an outline application, and there will be things to think about like spacing between the houses, and it won’t necessarily be four storeys. We would say that the view will be improved.”