New housing set to be built on former Lancaster hospital site after council gives go-ahead

Plans to build 53 new homes on land once part of the former Royal Albert Hospital off Ashton Road in Lancaster have been given the go-ahead despite local concerns.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:14 pm
Derby Home in Lancaster.

The plans had been altered slightly since being first submitted to the council last January, and were re-submitted in December after changes were made to the affordable housing provision that could be provided.

Oakmere Homes are behind the scheme, which includes a three-storey building comprising eight two-bed apartments and the conversion of Derby Home to eight one-bed apartments.

The development will also include regrading of land, creation of parking areas, internal roads including associated upgrading works to Pathfinders Drive, footpaths, drainage infrastructure and open space provision.

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The proposals include the conversion of the dilapidated Derby Home, which was originally built in 1913 as part of the Royal Albert Hospital.

Derby Home is not listed, but it is considered a non-designated heritage asset on account of its age, style and relationship to the former Hospital and associated buildings.

There were 39 objections to the scheme submitted to the council, including some from local councillors Abi Mills and Gina Dowding.

Some of these concerns centred around the increased pressure the development would put on the local road network, particularly around the nearby Pointer roundabout.

There is also no bus service and a lack of accessibility to local shops, as well as no education or health care provision.

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust objected on several grounds, including a lack of detail on the plans to show the impact of the development on the nearby Orchard mental health support service.

Lancaster Civic Society also objected about the minimal transport connections, poor refuse management and cramped internal designs.

But city councillors approved the scheme at Monday's planning committee meeting after council officers said the scheme would make "a small but valuable contribution towards the supply of market housing in south Lancaster".