Lancaster civic group slams 'dense and uninteresting' quay housing plans which ‘would impact tourism’

Lancaster Civic Vision - formerly Lancaster Civic Society – have criticised plans for a small historic site on Lancaster’s riverside to be redeveloped as 16 ‘affordable’ homes with access, parking and landscaping.

And they have called on the city council to put a halt on any further developments until a thorough review of the impact on traffic in the area is carried out.

“If the proposed dense and uninteresting development goes ahead this potential tourist location will be lost for ever,” they said.

“We believe it is time to call for a moratorium on decisions relating to any applications relating to the Quay and Willow Lane until Lancaster City Council have commissioned an independent study of the traffic implications and received a report on it.”

Area proposed for the site of 16 affordable houses, access, parking and appropriate landscaping in New Quay Road, Lancaster. Photo: Lancaster Civic Vision

Lancaster Civic Vision (LCV) is a statutory consultee for planning requests submitted to Lancaster City Council and has a dedicated Planning Scrutiny Group (PSG) who register their approval or concerns regarding many of the applications.

PSG, together with many local residents, have registered strong objections to this application, saying they have "consistently argued that the areas between New Quay Road and the riverbank should be set aside as public open spaces.”

“The quay is part of Lancaster's maritime heritage, and although the new quay does not date back to the time of tall ships, if we are to attract tourism, we need to preserve spaces such as this,” they said.

The group also highlighted traffics concerns which are shared by residents.

“Increased traffic is already causing problems of noise and poor air quality, which will only be exacerbated if plans for expansion of the nearby Lune Industrial Estate go ahead," they said.

“Calls have already been made by LCV for an additional road bridge crossing the River Lune to divert traffic from the west of the city on to the Bay Gateway via Ovangle Road, thus relieving the historic St George’s Quay from further damage.”

The group said a petition organised by LCV last year calling for Lancashire County Council to mount a feasibility study into the possibility of such a new road bridge received overwhelming support from residents in Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth, but said it was 'ignored by local elected county council representatives for these areas'.

PSG further added that “whilst in principle we favour an increase in so-called ‘affordable’ housing in the city, this development looks dense and unattractive with 16 dwellings being shoe-horned onto the site.”

“The design is bland and information about the materials is limited. ‘Brick’ colours are mentioned, and the elevations show red and pinkish-beige colours which look garish.”

“The back gardens are minimal and flooding could be an issue, even with the existing defences.”

“If this development is allowed to go ahead as planned, future residents and visitors to the city will ask why a golden opportunity for a significant addition to our tourist offerings was lost," they said.

“Frequently we have expressed our concerns about the ever-increasing build-up of traffic using the quay. This development would only exacerbate the problem.”

If you would like to register your opinion on this proposed development, visit Lancaster City Council planning ppplications web page at https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/view-applications-and-decisions and enter reference 21/00648/FUL.

Additionally, LCV has set up a survey on their website where you can register your vote and concerns at http://www.lancastercivicsociety.uk/2022/06/30/lancaster-civic-vision-registers-strong-objection-to-new-quay-new-quay-road-lancaster-development/