Affordable housing plans for former Lancaster school site take another step forward

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Proposals to build new affordable housing on the site of Skerton High School have taken another step forward.

Lancaster City Council’s planning committee granted approval for the school building to be demolished when it met on Monday.

Skerton High closed in 2014 after being deemed surplus to requirements by Lancashire County Council due to dwindling pupil numbers.

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To give the site a new lease of life, and as part of wider plans to improve the Mainway estate, the city council bought the building earlier this year.

Skerton High School.Skerton High School.
Skerton High School.

Although the school buildings will be demolished, the council has committed to retaining the cherry trees which line the entrance way and the playing fields at the front of the site.

Coun Caroline Jackson, deputy leader and cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “We’re in desperate of new council homes and it’s fantastic to be able to continue our plans for this site. There is only a finite supply of suitable land for development so to be able to repurpose a disused site such as Skerton High provides us with a golden opportunity.”

The proposed development aims to construct around 135 new council homes on the school site.

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The plans also include indoor community spaces on the ground floor of one block, as well as some housing to the rear of the site sitting on pedestrian-friendly streets, a children's play park, bringing the playing fields to the front of the site back into use, and the creation of connecting routes between Ryelands Park and the riverside.

A full planning application is expected to be submitted early in 2024.