Councillors set to ask developers for £75m scheme assurances

Part of the canal corridor north site earmarked for developed.
Part of the canal corridor north site earmarked for developed.

Lancaster City Council is still seeking assurances from developers British Land about the future of the city’s canal corridor north site.

The site, which has been earmarked for a massive £75m retail-led development for the last 10 years, is still awaiting work to begin.

And members of the council’s cabinet were due this week to agree to ask British Land to confirm their commitment to the scheme.

Council officers were set to ask the councillors at Wednesday evening’s cabinet meeting to agree that confirmation be sought in writing from the firm about their plans for the project and how its financial viability would be secured.

They were also expected to agree that a detailed analysis of White Young Green’s updated retail need assessment be undertaken.

The canal corridor corth includes land between St Leonard’s Gate, Moor Lane and Lancaster canal, which is one of the key regeneration priorities in the councils adopted Local Development Framework Core Strategy.

Meanwhile, Lancaster Vision, the section of Lancaster Civic Society that focuses on the long-term future of Lancaster district and its economy, is awaiting a reply from British Land’s head of retail development, Richard Wise, after writing to ask for an update on their plans for the site. They set out the view that Lancaster district has a number of special features that make it a very attractive place to live, work and visit.

Martin Widden, a spokesman for Lancaster Vision, said: “Lancaster and district has great potential, much of which is only partly realised.

“The Canal Corridor North site is the major regeneration opportunity in central Lancaster, and we would like to see it developed.

“It could add a significant new level to the variety of retail and leisure on offer in the district, encouraging increased economic activity, and building further on the strong economic case for retail developments in the city.

“It will also provide an opportunity for more housing to be developed in the centre. This would bring very important benefits to the district.”

If the major movers and shakers in the district’s economic development continue to drag their feet on this, Lancaster is at risk of missing its big opportunity.”