£8.5m plans to build 100 new council houses across district

Photo Ian Robinson'Chrissy Bailey and campaigners trying to save Ridge Hill Field in Lancaster from development
Photo Ian Robinson'Chrissy Bailey and campaigners trying to save Ridge Hill Field in Lancaster from development

Plans for an £8.5m council house building programme at locations across the Lancaster district are being proposed.

The council says it has the money in its “HRA Business Support Reserve”, which can cover the cost of creating new one bedroom accommodation, potential land purchase and the buying up of ex-council houses in the district.

The proposed sites for new council houses in Lancaster, which councillors will discuss at a cabinet meeting at Morecambe Town Hall on Tuesday at 10am, include a play area and parking area on Charnley Street/Furness Street, which is big enough for 12 one bedroom flats, and open space off Honister Road, Lancaster, which has the potential for 55 accommodation units.

In Windermere Road, Carnforth, a “lorry park”, although identified as a flood risk area, has the potential for 14 one bedroom flats, while a second site in Carnforth, currently garage plots, has the potential for another 14 or more one bedroom flats.

Ridge Square in Lancaster will also be looked at as a neighbourhood regeneration scheme and as a “medium to long term initiative requiring greater consideration, and detailed appraisal”.

In Morecambe, there is a site in Parkside Court/Altham Walk, which could be used for two one bedroom bungalows.

The council is also proposing that it will cost in the region of £420,000 to make all of these sites “construction ready”.

A report due before councillors says that evidence from the council’s housing resister show growing demand for one-bedroomed accommodation and continues to support the original Cabinet view that the council should invest in new one-bedroom accommodation within the district.

The report also says that developing on land the council owns is the most cost effective way forward and should enable rent to maintained at an affordable level.

But Christine Bailey, who lives in Crag Road, near to the proposed development in Honister Road, said the site was the only green space available in the area, and was used by families and children for a number of activities.

The council concedes in the report that the site is “amenity land” and that “community impact is an issue” but adds that it is potentially deliverable as a housing site within one to five years.

Christine Bailey is due to speak at the meeting in Tuesday.

The council will also discuss its Housing Allocations Policy and its Empty Homes strategy at the meeting.