Homes get go-ahead

Luneside Centre on Pinfold Lane in Skerton.
Luneside Centre on Pinfold Lane in Skerton.

A community centre which was controversially closed last year is to be demolished to make way for 12 affordable homes.

Users of the Luneside Resource Centre in Skerton – including disabled people and community groups like Arthritis Lancaster – were left angry when it was closed by Lancashire County Council in July 2011.

The centre on Pinfold Lane will now be razed to the ground after Lancaster City Council’s planning committee approved an application by Melrose Construction Ltd to build the homes on behalf of the Guinness Northern Counties housing association.

Eight of the two-storey stone and brick/render houses will front onto Pinfold Lane, with the other four on Norfolk Street.

There will be six three-bed homes and six two-bed properties available for affordable rent.

Ten communal parking spaces will be provided and the homes fronting Norfolk Street will each have two private parking spaces.

A city council planing report says the former community centre was “considered to be outdated and unsuited to clients’ needs” and its core services are now offered by the Lancaster Disability Day Service at the Thorpe View Day Centre in Morecambe.

It adds that other public sector organisations had been alerted about the building’s availability but that neither Skerton High School nor Scope at Beaumont College had followed up initial enquiries before the offer to sell to a house builder had been accepted.

The original plans have been amended to lengthen some back gardens and councillors impsed a condition meaning conservatories cannot be added to the homes.

Resident, Wendy Kirkbride, of Pinfold Lane, had objected to the plans, saying she was concerned about the increased traffic that would be generated by the development and potential parking issues.

But the council’s planning committee voted to support the scheme, with just one member abstaining.

After the meeting, Skerton East councillor Abbott Bryning, said: “This is welcome and will help to meet housing need in the area.

“Once buildings become dilapidated they can attract anti-social behaviour so this is a step in the right direction in brining the site back into use.”