At the latest meeting of Lancaster City Council’s planning committee, nine councillors voted for the development, one voted against and three abstained.
The apartments will be built by Placefirst at Bold Street in Heysham, at a site which was cleared in the past. Old terraced homes and a former garage building there were bought by the city council and then demolished around seven years ago.
Developer Placefirst builds and maintains rented homes and has previously worked on Victorian terraced homes in Morecambe’s West End.
Planning permission was first granted for an apartment block in 2020, for a three-storey design to provide 21 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom apartments. But the plan was then amended to 22 and 20 rooms respectively. Permission to develop the Bold Street site remained but the latest changes had to be approved by city councillors.
The main changes are to the front elevation facing Bold Street and the overall height of the block. Originally, seven ground floor front doors were planned, serving the flats with private amenity spaces along the front. Now however, the revised and approved design has removed the front doors and added a single communal entrance for all residents at the side, off Back Winterdyne Terrace.
Full-height windows which were previously suggested are now replaced with sill-height, wider windows. The overall height of the block has also been reduced.
In addition, ‘starter packs’ are to be given to new residents explaining the importance of the Morecambe Bay area to nature, especially birds. Residents will be made aware of disturbance to birds caused by pet dogs or by flying kites and drones. This is intended to lessen the impact of new residents enjoying nearby coastal areas.
A planning report to councillors stated: “The new entrance point will provide a communal focus and a more secure access for residents than the separate doors. The Bold Street front retains the landscaped strip behind one-metre metal railings but this has been enhanced to include a full length hedgerow.”