Quayside housing plans get the green light

Luneside East, which has been demolished to make way for new development.
Luneside East, which has been demolished to make way for new development.

Plans for 149 new homes off St George’s Quay in Lancaster have been given the go-ahead by city councillors.

Persimmon Homes will now develop the Luneside East site, after the council’s planning committee unanimously approved the scheme on Monday.

The application includes plans for 149 new houses – 40 two-bedroom, 77 three-bedroom and 32 four-bedroom properties – with parking and landscaping.

Access will be from two existing access points on St George’s Quay, with a pedestrian link created through the site to Long Marsh Lane.

The council entered into an agreement with Persimmon in 2005, originally for a 170-home development.

However, by reinstating an embankment which had been removed in original plans, the number of properties was reduced to 149.

Council officers believe the development has the potential to deliver a number of significant benefits, most notably the re-use of a significant proportion of a derelict, brownfield site that has lain empty for some time.

With the neighbouring Luneside West development being built, officers feel this has the potential to revitalise the quayside.

Andrew Dobson, Lancaster City Council’s chief regeneration officer, said: “This is one of the most important regeneration sites in the district.”

Coun Eileen Blamire said: “It’s difficult to oppose this development because the planners have done their best to improve it but I do feel the loss of affordable houses and play areas and open space hasn’t made this an easy decision.

“But the housing is needed and this has gone through tremendous hoops to get there.”

Coun Keith Sowden said: “I am quite happy with this application but there are only two ways out of this place and everything is going to feed into the one-way system.

“We are coming to the stage where we are not able to go on at all. “We have got to say ‘no’ at some point.”

Around 60 residents raised concerns about the plans.

Issues included an increase in noise and anti-social behaviour, a lack of open space and children’s play equipment, a lack of public consultation by the applicant and pollution/contamination concerns.

Residents also say the scheme is of poor design and detrimental to the character of the area.

Local resident Julia Russell told Monday’s meeting she still had reservations about the protection and management of trees and of the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists using Long Marsh Lane.