Development plans for University of Cumbria's Lancaster campus put on hold over eleventh-hour concerns about water drainage

Controversial plans for major redevelopment at the University of Cumbria's Lancaster campus have been deferred after concerns were raised about drainage on the site.

The plans went before Lancaster City Council's planning committee today, Monday March 1, and were split into three main elements:

*Demolition of buildings and erection of a new four-storey extra care residential building overlooking Coulston Road, and the conversion of Barbon Hall and Hornby Hall into affordable residential apartments.

*Demolition of the existing 10 storey tower and other buildings and erection of an eight, nine and 10 storey building with a bigger footprint including residential student accommodation in cluster flat arrangements

Residents and other members of the public who use the access path are objecting to the plans.

*Redevelopment of tennis courts by creating new retaining walls on the slopes and building up the existing ground levels to form a new access road leading from the turning circle of nearby Anderson Close to a new two-storey supported living facility comprising 13 one-bedroom flats.

As we reported last month, concerned residents living near the Bowerham site said that despite nearly 50 objections to some of the plans, they had "simply been ignored".

Their objections related to the plan to demolish the tennis courts adjacent to the all-weather games area on the campus and build a two-storey supported living facility, and covered matters relating to both national and local planning guidelines and policies including distance from neighbouring properties, privacy, access and transport issues.

However, during Monday's planning committee meeting it came to light that late concerns had been raised by the Lead Local Flood Authority and United Utilities about the applications’ surface water drainage details.

Residents have erected the black screen to show how close the development would be to their homes in Clougha Avenue.

Councillors agreed to defer the applications to allow the applicant time to submit further information, and to also submit verified photomontages of two of the proposed developments.

It is thought the applications will not now be heard before the May planning meeting.

The tennis courts form part of the development site.
A drone view of the development area at the University of Cumbria's Lancaster campus.