Thumbs up for new rural district homes

Aldcliffe residents
Aldcliffe residents

Applications for around 80 new build homes in the Lancaster area went before the city council’s planning committee this week, with small scale developments proposed in Scale Hall, Aldcliffe, Arkholme, Caton and Carnforth.

Many Aldcliffe residents turned up to the meeting to express concern about two seperate applications; one for up to 12 new properties on land off Aldcliffe Hall Lane, and one for up to six in a field off Aldcliffe Hall Drive.

Coun Roger Sherlock said: “We’re going to have one after another of these applications coming in. The sooner we get the five year plan sorted out the better, so we can distance ourselves from applications like these.”

But Paul Tunstall, from JWPC Development Projects, said: “Please consider the needs of future residents, not just those of existing ones.”

Councillors rejected the proposals for the 12 new homes, but plans for six in a field off Aldcliffe Hall Drive were granted.

Ward councillor Dave Brookes said: “I think officers have underestimated the landscape value of this piece of land.”

Coun Paul Woodruff described the government’s idea of localism as “meaningless”, arguing that the planning committee had little choice but to approve plans.

Coun Woodruff said: “We don’t need greenfield developments, brownfield sites should be used first.

“But developers now are looking for anywhere that has potential to dig up a green field and put housing on it, and if we don’t agree, we’re in deep trouble. Quality of life and emotions don’t come in to the planning system. The finances of the council are so stretched that it would be difficult to refuse this because of threat of appeal Localism has not come to the forefront and it’s meaningless.”

Plans for six new homes at Carnforth Brow in Carnforth were given the green light, as were proposals for 16 one bed affordable flats on land off Brindle Close in Scale Hall.

In Arkholme, plans for 14 new homes were approved for the conservation area in Kirkby Lonsdale Road.

A £50,000 community donation, in lieu of one affordable home, will be paid to the village to create a community store run by volunteers, after Arkholme’s only shop closed down. In Caton, plans to build up to 30 properties at the former SJ Bargh site in Hornby Road were rejected due to the “loss of employment land”.

Officers and councillors agreed that it would be more appropriate to see the site continue as some form of rural business, rather than housing, at this time.