What was happening around the district five, 10 and 25 years ago this week.
Five years ago
January 29 2010
Parts of the Lancaster district, including farms and caravan parks, could disappear into the sea under new proposals. The Environment Agency proposals, which could affect 10 farms in total and destroy 17 properties and four large caravan parks in the Cockerham and Thurnham area, were part of a review of sea defences along the Morecambe Bay coastline. The draft Shoreline Management Plan outlined proposals for action, or inaction, along the coast over the next 100 years as the risk of flooding and erosion increases.
A second public inquiry was to be held into the controversial £139 million Heysham-M6 link. The inquiry was announced by the Department for Transport after legal orders attracted 18 statutory objections. The objectors included Lancaster and Morecambe College, Holiday Inn, McDonald’s, Torrisholme Cricket and Social Club, Morecambe Town Council, four residents and three people who rented land for pony paddocks.
Town hall chiefs helped clear a massive deficit at Williamson Park as they prepared to take over its management. And a Lancaster City Council report revealed they would look at improving the attraction and could revisit a £3.7 million lottery bid withdrawn a year ago amid the financial crisis. This would have seen the Butterfly House transformed into a wedding reception venue, with a new building for the butterflies, a new cafe and entrance and improved education and parking facilities.
Ten years ago
January 28 2005
Police in Lancaster hit the streets with mobile video cameras in the bid to reduce late-night criminal damage and anti-social behaviour. Operation Night Owl was running every weekend in a bid to reduce alcohol-induced disorder on the outskirts of the city centre.
Mobile phone company O2 could be ordered to take down a 50 foot mast which had angered people in Skerton. Lancaster City Council believed the firm needed planning permission for the structure on land near the junction of Slyne Road and Alderley Heights. O2 was told to make a back-dated application.
Residents of St George’s Quay were to meet with the Environment Agency to discuss possible flood defence solutions. They hoped this would lead to a solution which complemented rather than clashed with the quay’s unique architecture. The subject of the flood wall – first proposed by the council in 1996 but shelved after failing to gain sufficient support – was discussed.
Planning permission had been granted for 74 new houses and apartments in Halton. Lancaster City Council’s planning committee unanimously agreed to give the scheme the go ahead despite objections from nearby residents. The proposal would see 47 houses and 27 apartments built on the site of Halton Mill, in Mill Lane, as well as a play area and access road.
Twenty five years ago
January 26 1990
County councillors looked like offering little comfort to local residents facing estimated £395 bills for the new Poll Tax in April. With political flak still flying between Labour and Conservative county councillors over who was to blame, concrete proposals to cut the shock figure were yet to emerge.
Victory reigned when residents of the Ryelands area of Lancaster were finally given a bus service after years of fighting. The Lancaster City Transport bus arrived on Sefton Drive to a round of applause from residents. Within seconds it was almost full. Following years without transport into the city centre, the residents had a triumphant journey to the shops.
The city council would have to postpone some of its housing improvement schemes if it wanted to finish the renovation of the Primrose and Buxton Street areas, the city housing committee was told. New Government legislation coming into force would end grants for ‘enveloping’ – the type of improvement taking place in Primrose and Buxton Street. The council was faced with the dilemma of how to meet its commitments to residents in the area with reduced resources.
Badly needed repairs to hundreds of terraced houses in Lancaster and Morecambe were under threat because of a Government clamp down on spending. Lancaster City Council heard that its plea for funds to complete its ‘enveloping’ or facelift scheme of private houses in Primrose, Lancaster and Buxton Street, Morecambe, had fallen on deaf ears.