Councillors block controversial 650-home plan for south Lancaster

Controversial plans for a 650-homes development in south Lancaster have been rejected.
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The scheme, by Gladman Developments Ltd, included the demolition of Low Hill House to build 644 homes, along with a community hall and public open spaces, on land to the north of Hala Hill and Bailrigg Lane.

But as we reported last August, numerous residents and local campaigners in south Lancaster voiced their concerns over the plans, saying the local infrastructure would be unable to cope with the development.

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South Lancaster campaign group CLOUD (Citizens of Lancaster Opposed to Unnecessary Development) said the scheme was "excessive, merely an extension of the existing built area and most particularly is premature, presupposing and thus adversely affecting rational planning of the greater south Lancaster area, and assumes the provision of additional infrastructure in terms of health and education facilities, highways and drainage with no evidence of nor likelihood of their provision and particularly with no regard to the timing of their provision should they come to fruition."

Part of the site included in the plans.Part of the site included in the plans.
Part of the site included in the plans.

They outlined several areas of concern, including flooding and environmental issues, traffic and congestion, infrastructure, and health and schools provision.

They were supported by many residents who registered objections with the city council.

Lancashire County Council's School Planning Team requested a financial contribution from the developer due to a shortfall in school places should the scheme go ahead, while Scotforth Parish Council said Gladman should amend its proposals in order to include a primary school on site.

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Meanwhile, NHS Morecambe Bay requested £187,419 towards an extension and reconfiguration at Lancaster Medical Practice, Rosebank Surgery and Meadowside Surgery.

They said the proposal would generate around 1,632 new patient registrations based on an average household size of 2.4.

A Design and Access Statement prepared on behalf of Gladman Developments Ltd said the scheme could make a "significant contribution" to housing delivery within Lancaster, as well as provide new affordable housing.

"The proposals will combine to create a truly sustainable and vibrant new neighbourhood," the statement says.

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"The development will also bring significant economic benefits during the construction phase and through the contribution new residents will make to the local economy through their household expenditure."

Councillors agreed with planning officers, who had recommended the scheme be refused, when they met on Monday.

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