Fury over plans for Luneside East site

Luneside East, which is being demolished to make way for new development
Luneside East, which is being demolished to make way for new development

Residents living next to the Luneside East development site have called a public meeting to air their concerns over the scheme.

Homeowners say the current plans for 170 houses on the site have been submitted by Persimmon Homes without any public consultation.

Persimmon Homes has been invited to attend the meeting, on May 1 from 6.30pm at the Friends’ Meeting House, along with city councillors and landowners, Luneside East Ltd.

Residents say the proposed plans deviate quite markedly from previous plans seen by them, and controversially include the removal of trees and the old railway embankment bordering Long Marsh Lane.

Lancaster City Council’s website describes Luneside East as “a new quarter of the city with a mix of housing, commercial space, high quality open spaces and walking and cycling routes.

“The development aims to be a landmark in urban regeneration and high quality design and be an exemplar of sustainable development.”

Local resident Julia Russell said: “After 16 years of consultation regarding the site and the local community was, on the whole, supportive of the plans previously put forward to develop the brownfield site.

“This new plan is drastically different from those we were shown even as recently as March 2013. We had always been promised that the old railway embankment and the trees would be retained as part of green spaces on the site.

“Persimmon’s plan is for 170 houses with none of the public green spaces or children’s park area we were promised. This is not high quality urban regeneration, it is simply suburban sprawl.”

There are also concerns over access to Long Marsh Lane. In all the original plans, cars were intended to access the site via St George’s Quay, with only cycle and pedestrian access onto Long Marsh Lane.

Persimmon’s plans would see more than 12 per cent of the proposed homes with direct access from their driveways onto this narrow lane.

A petition at www.change.org has been started to save the trees and oppose the planning application and has already nearly 600 signatures.

Andy Pepper, planning and strategic manager at Persimmon Homes Lancashire, said: “Managing director Mark Cook and I will be attending a small meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on Monday (April 28) along with Guy Illingworth, director of land owner Luneside East Limited, some community representatives and council officers.

“We were invited to the public meeting on May 1, but it was felt that as our application is still under consideration by Lancaster City Council our attendance would not necessarily be productive.

“We will continue to work with officers to ensure that our proposals receive their support and of course residents are still able to comment on the application in the usual way via representations to the city council.”