‘White elephant’ project on the cards

General view of the planned marina complex by the canal in Carnforth.
General view of the planned marina complex by the canal in Carnforth.

A controversial project to build a 50-berth marina along with a hotel in Carnforth is set to be given the green light.

The plans were previously discussed by Lancaster City Council at the end of last year when a decision was deferred to allow for further ecological studies.

Planning officers have now recommended the scheme be approved, subject to a consultation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over a gas pipeline running through the site.

Originally submitted in March 2013, the plans are for a 50-berth marina and 60-bedroom hotel, along with associated parking for land on the outskirts of Carnforth.

As part of the project, the A601(M) between junction 35 of the M6 and the existing junction with the A6 Scotland Road would be declassified to an A road from one with motorway regulations.

After recommending the scheme for refusal in December 2013, planning officers at Lancaster City Council have now backed the proposals, subject to the outcome of a consultation with the HSE.

Last year, planners raised concerns about a lack of information on the impact of the biodiversity of the development and therefore the decision was deferred. More ecological survey work has now been completed.

Up to now Lancaster City Council has received 47 letters of objection to the controversial project, classed as a ‘white elephant’ by objectors, citing such issues as an increased risk of accidents, traffic and congestion and poor access to public transport.

Supporters of the project, including MP David Morris, have written 21 letters of support, saying the project would provide employment and tourism opportunities, economic benefits and investment enhancement of the area.

Officers have rec ommended that subject to delegation back to the Chief Officer (Regeneration and Planning) to consider the advance notice HSE consultation and subject to a legal agreement, that outline planning permission should be granted subject to certain conditions.

The plans will be discussed at a meeting on Monday, July 21.