Developers lodge appeal against council decision to block controversial plans for 70 new homes on Lancaster farmland

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Developers who were refused permission by the city council to build up to 70 homes on farmland near Lancaster city centre have lodged an appeal against the decision.

WVC Lancaster Limited were told the development on land north of Ashford House in Ashton Road would cause "significant harm” to an important green space.

And city councillors blocked the scheme when it went before a planning committee last June.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

WVC Lancaster Limited said the scheme would "considerably add to the supply of housing" in the city, and provide more benefits than the previously refused proposals for two holiday lets or a single property at the site.

An artist's impression of how part of the development might look.An artist's impression of how part of the development might look.
An artist's impression of how part of the development might look.

Part of the 3.55 hectare site is considered to be previously developed land with a horse boarding stable, paddock, arena, and associated access. The remainder of the site consists of agricultural land.

The homes would be split between 25% first homes, 37.5% shared ownership and 37.5% affordable rented in accordance with guidelines.

Housing would be a mix of two, three and four-bedroom, as well as bungalows and apartments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With improvements to the road next to the site, they said a safe and attractive link could be provided to the canal towpath.

However, the plans were met with objections by residents concerned that a popular canalside space would be lost as a result.

Residents lodged more than 75 concerns, particularly over the high number of plans for new houses in the area and the subsequent impact on traffic.

They also highlighted the dangers for cyclists along the route, as well as the detrimental effect the plans could have on people's enjoyment of the popular canal path.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Concern was also raised about the detrimental effect on wildlife in the area.

City council officers also raised concerns about the scheme.

They said: "The proposed site is located within a valued landscape, designated as an Urban Setting Landscape, alongside Lancaster Canal that forms an important green space network in the district.

"The character of the area is open, rural, and tranquil and provides an important visual frame to the existing urban area and offers a peaceful retreat along the canal from the urban area.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The proposal for residential development fails to preserve the open nature and character of the area resulting in significant harm to the landscape character of the site, the visual amenity of the area and the value and integrity of the canal corridor as an important green space.

"Given the particular characteristics of this site and wider Urban Setting Landscape and canal corridor, it is considered that the substantial harm identified would in this case significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal."

The firm has now submitted an official appeal to the Secretary of State, which will be decided by an informal hearing.

A provisional date for the hearing has been set for April 16 at 10am.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The hearing will be heard at Lancaster Town Hall and is expected to last two days.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the appeal can do so online at by February 21.

You can also write to: The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting inspectorate reference APP/A2335/W/23/3335117.