A huge employment boost has been predicted for the Lancaster district with nearly 10,000 new jobs over the next 16 years.
The education sector, admin and support services, and transport, storage and post top the list of new employment opportunities, according to data produced for Lancaster City Council by consultants Turley.
The increase of 9,595 posts suggests a 20 per cent rise in the total number of full time equivalent jobs in the district – from 44,192 to 53,787 by 2031.
At the same time jobs in land based industries and manufacturing are expected to fall significantly, with a total of 1,072 job losses in these sectors. The local authority is also predicted to lose a further 447 jobs through the plan period, the figures suggest.
But it’s education (1,692 new jobs), administration and support services (1,472 new jobs), and land transport, storage and post (1,421 new jobs) that are predicted to create the highest rises in employment.
New retail (805), professional services (911), wholesale (851), accommodation and food services (751), civil engineering (667) and construction of buildings (467) make up the bulk of the rest.
The figures stand alongside Lancaster City Council’s developing Local Plan, which will identify land and sites for development to provide for future job growth and housing requirements between 2011 and 2031.
Recommendations about the number of jobs and homes that the council should plan for have been developed independently by consultants Turley Associates, and carefully considered by officers, the council said.
Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said: “Using projections on future population change and economic growth from the Office for National Statistics and Experian, the consultants have used a robust approach to objectively assess how many jobs and homes the council should plan to achieve.
“It is expected that next year council officers will recommend to the council that a draft local plan should be published for consultation.”
The report concludes that up to 14,000 new homes will need to be built in the district by 2031.
But Janet Taylor, who has set up the Facebook group Save Denny Beck From The Developers, questioned the need for so many new properties.
She said: “We do have a marked absence of jobs in the area, our NHS trust has gone through a bad period, the police force and firefighters have felt the cuts and schools have been closed. We have to ask who are these houses are for?
“They want to build across the areas of Lancaster that are used by ramblers who come to visit on holiday. Areas like Grimeshaw Lane which has been untouched for hundreds of years...
“By trying to make things better they could destroy the final beautiful things they have left in the district.”
Coun Hanson added: “Using projections on future population change and economic growth from the Office for National Statistics and Experian, the consultants have used a robust approach to objectively assess how many jobs and homes the council should plan to achieve.
“It is expected that next year council officers will recommend to the council that a draft local plan should be published for consultation.
“It’s important to remember that we are not only looking at identifying land for new homes as part of the local plan. We are also allocating sites for commercial use to create new opportunities for successful local businesses to grow and also encourage new companies to move into the district. This will also help to create jobs for local people.”