Developers object to Frontierland plans

Opus North - Frontierland.
Opus North - Frontierland.

The regeneration of Morecambe’s Frontierland site could scupper plans for a major retail scheme in Lancaster, according to developers.

In a letter to the city council, British Land, which is due to submit a long awaited planning application for the Canal Corridor North site later this year, said that Opus North’s £17m scheme for the derelict land in Marine Road Central will have a serious impact on shopping in Lancaster.

The developer has asked Lancaster City Council to restrict the sale of goods on the Morecambe site to “bulky goods including electrical, DIY, furniture and floorcoverings”, and avoid the sale of fashion, health and beauty and sports goods.

Last week, Morecambe’s Arndale Centre also objected to the plans, claiming the proposed new Bay Shopping Park could deal a devastating blow to Morecambe town centre.

And now British Land said the park is forecast to divert £13m away from Lancaster city centre, amounting to 38 per cent of the proposed development’s turnover.

If given the go-ahead, the park will include a mix of well known high street stores, a 60 bedroomed hotel overlooking Morecambe Bay, and seafront restaurants, creating 500 jobs.

The company also asked the council to “carefully consider” the number of restaurants being proposed within the scheme, “on the ability to deliver a truly mixed use development on the Canal Corridor North site.”

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “It would be inappropriate for the council to comment on the validity or not of individual responses to planning application consultations in advance of proper planning evaluations being undertaken.

“All feedback received is taken into consideration ahead of any decision being made by the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee.”

British Land said: “It is evident from the applicant’s submissions that the proposed development is intended to be a fashion-led retail park plus significant food and drink uses.

“Given the wider trends in retailing whereby retailers are increasingly limiting representation to a fewer and more strategic locations, (British Land) considers that there is a real risk that ‘open’ non-food A1 retail of the quantum proposed could undermine the deliverability of the Canal Corridor North site by attracting retailers that would otherwise go into the Canal Corridor North scheme in Lancaster.