Much loved cherry trees saved as council pushes ahead with housing plans at former Lancaster school

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Purchase of a former Lancaster school by the city council is almost complete – with plans to convert part of the site into new homes.

The council has assured residents that the much loved cherry trees in the former school grounds will be protected throughout the development.

In recent years Lancaster City Council has been developing proposals to improve the city's Mainway estate.

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Built back in the 1960s, the estate requires significant investment to address maintenance issues. The aim of the MyMainway project is to create high quality housing which will be fit for generations to come.

The blossom-laden trees leading up to the former Skerton High School.The blossom-laden trees leading up to the former Skerton High School.
The blossom-laden trees leading up to the former Skerton High School.

As part of the project, the city council is finalising the purchase of the former Skerton High School building to incorporate it into the wider Mainway masterplan.

At a recent Cabinet meeting, councillors agreed to go ahead with the detailed work and the funding required to put in a planning application for the school site.

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The application will also cover outline requirements for parts of the school site that will be developed later. The cabinet decision also covered the refurbishment of the small blocks known as Lune and Derby Houses.

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Jo Wilkinson, Chief Officer (Housing and Property) at Lancaster City Council, said: “Cabinet's decision means the council is now able to move forward with creating new and much needed social and affordable housing on the Skerton school site. This includes space for new community facilities to replace the school itself.

"The council is working very hard to retain the heritage parts of the buildings and the cherry trees are also an essential part of the plans and will be protected throughout the development.”