Lancaster residents protest against development plans for green space near homes

Angry residents in an area of Lancaster are sending a clear message to house builders - keep your hands off our green open space.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14th February 2022, 3:53 pm
Updated Monday, 14th February 2022, 3:54 pm

More than 150 objections have been lodged against a controversial plan for 78 houses, some four-bedroom, on a meadow behind Watery Lane, north of Torrisholme Road.

Residents have united with Skerton West councillors to protest against the plan by Oakmere Homes of Kendal, which is expected to come before the city council's planning committee soon.

They say the development is too large and could lead to flooding and increase traffic dangers.

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Residents, including Couns Jean Parr and Mandy King, protest against plans for a major housing development off Watery Lane, Lancaster. Picture by Coun Phil Black

But one of their main concerns is the loss of the valuable and much-appreciated field and its wildlife north of Whernside Road and alongside Barley Cop Wood, Lancaster Crematorium and Vale of Lune Rugby Club.

Couns Jean Parr, Mandy King and Phil Black say residents are strongly against the plans.

“This development will mean an irretrievable loss of a wonderful green asset – the only open space left in Skerton West – enjoyed by all residents for both walking and observing nature,” they said.

“The importance of access to green space has been proved again and again during the pandemic, providing an oasis of calm to nurture good mental health.

Residents protest against plans for a major housing development off Watery Lane, Lancaster. Picture by Coun Phil Black

“The local roads cannot accommodate a further 100 or more cars.”

A petition with 24 signatures has been submitted to the council.

Concern has been expressed by Natural England, United Utilities Water relating to drainage, Lancashire Archaeology and Development Transport Planning Consultancy.

Long time resident Peter Lovett-Horn said: “When we opposed a similar application some years ago, it was refused because it would constitute an unjustifiable intrusion into an area designated as a public place.

A picture taken by Coun Jean Parr of a heron at the pond on the development site.

“It also would have been an unduly prominent view and be an intrusion into the landscape.

“Nothing has changed since and this latest application is even bigger in its scope, making it an even greater intrusion and more dangerous in terms of added traffic and public safety.

“There are also our fears that drainage would be inadequate and traffic plans ill thought out.”

Residents and councillors staged a protest on the site on Saturday with placards saying “Save Our Space”, “Don't make my street unsafe” and “Save Our Meadow".

Coun Parr intends to address the planning committee before it makes a decision. The committee is expected to visit the site beforehand.