Bowerham flats plan row

A planning application to build a block of student flats next to the Bowerham Hotel is being opposed by residents.
A planning application to build a block of student flats next to the Bowerham Hotel is being opposed by residents.

A planning application for 53 student flats to be built next to the Bowerham Hotel in Lancaster is being met with opposition from residents.

But residents who attended a meeting at short notice were unanimous in opposing the development.

One resident said: “We have a local residents’ action group on Facebook, with 180 members.

“This number is increasing daily as many people have only very recently found out about this application, as a result of local residents creating, printing and posting flyers in the area.

“Additionally, this number does not include the many retired people in the area who do not use Facebook, or staff from the local schools, that are still closed for summer.

“Building a three to four storey construction, with 53 student flats and two shops, directly opposite family homes is unacceptable.

“The pub garden is currently used all year round by local children, as a recreational ground and by the pubs regular customers. To take this away would be removing a community asset.”

John O’Gaunt Green Party Councillor Paul Stubbins knocked on the doors of residents in several nearby streets to inform them, to find that hardly anybody knew anything about it.

Coun Stubbins said: “This application for 53 dwellings has only eight parking spaces provided, but more significantly , this will mean the loss of one of the few remaining community spaces in Bowerham.”

Owner of The Bowerham Hotel, Graham Cass, said: “This is a £6m investment to regenerate what is becoming a tired high street.

“We want to regenerate Bowerham with this investment.

“We understand people don’t like change and are taking on people’s genuine concerns.

“We’ve had considerable pre planning meetings and had architects from Manchester come up with an exciting new development.

“We have had considerable support as well.”

Another meeting is planned for residents on Wednesday September 12, at the Trinity United Reformed Church on Bowerham Road, from 5.30pm to 8pm.

To view the planning application online visit https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning and enter the planning application number 18/00729/FUL.