Residents’ disgust over home plans for Lancaster woodland

Freeman's Wood at the end of St George's Quay.
Freeman's Wood at the end of St George's Quay.

Residents living close to a woodland site in Lancaster have criticised plans for a scheme which would see up to 250 new homes on the land.

Proposals for the project for the western edge of the city – on an area known as Freeman’s Wood – were unveiled at a public consultation event this week.

Coun Jon Barry at the site.

Coun Jon Barry at the site.

Outline plans for the site, off New Quay Road, include up to 250 homes along with areas of public open space and footpath routes.

Satnam erected a metal fence around the wood in 2011, prompting the Friends of Freeman’s Wood to submit an application to Lancashire County Council for the land to be registered as a Town Green.

However this application has not yet been dealt with.

The city council’s draft Local Plan designates Freeman’s Wood as local green space, which would give it protection similar to green belt land if the plan was adopted next year.

Freeman's Wood consultation plans.

Freeman's Wood consultation plans.

Emily Heath, secretary of the Friends of Coronation Field and Freeman’s Wood, said: “Local residents want Freeman’s Wood to remain as public green space. It is a haven for wildlife and has been well-used for recreation by many people over the last few decades. There are already plans for more than 1,000 new homes on former industrial (brownfield) land on the quay.

“Let’s send a clear message to Satnam and the city council that we want green spaces with high biodiversity like Freeman’s Wood to be protected from development.”

Cherry Canovan, who co-runs the Save Freeman’s Wood Facebook group, said: “Local people have used and valued this land for decades.

“Wild green space is an important community asset, and we are totally opposed to the idea of destroying it to build houses.”

Green councillor Jon Barry said: “I am completely against the plans put forward by Satnam, as are hundreds of others in the Marsh area and throughout Lancaster.

“The proposal put forward by Satnam will destroy Freeman’s Wood and I will do everything I can to prevent this happening.”

Anyone who was unable to attend the consultation can also comment at resultscommunications.co.uk.