Councillors urged to reject store plan

editorial image

Plans for a new supermarket at the former Lancaster City Garages site off the A6 have been thrown into doubt after planning officers called on councillors to refuse the scheme.

The scheme will go before Lancaster City Council’s planning committee on Monday, July 22, with site owner William Mason claiming the ‘big four’ supermarkets have all expressed an interest in opening a store there.

Mr Mason’s proposal is for a 2,000 sq metre store with 122 parking spaces and sheds for motorbikes and bicycles.

But Booths, which has permission for its own new 3,230 sq metre store on council-owned land further along the A6, and rival developers Commerical Estates Projects (CEP) and British Land, have all objected to the scheme.

CEP has appealed against the Secretary of State’s decision to uphold the council’s refusal of its plans for a 7,250 sq metre supermarket next door to the new Booths store, with a hearing due on December 10. It is also seeking a judicial review of the council’s decision to grant Booths planning permission.

British Land, which is working with Centros on new plans for a retail-led scheme alongLancaster city centre’s canal corridor, says approval of Mr Mason’s plans would ‘prejudice’ the bringing forward of that site.

A council planning report recommends refusal of Mr Mason’s scheme calling it “unsustainable development in the countryside”.

It says the application does not sufficiently assess possible traffic implications including increased congestion on the A6 and that the store would have an “unacceptable adverse impact” on a gateway into Lancaster.