CHAPEL LANE PLANNING APPLICATION
Application Number 18/00335/FUL Proposal Erection of 32 dwellings (C3) with associated access and landscaping on Chapel Lane, Galgate
The meeting opened and Councillor Helen Helme - City Councillor for Ellel Ward and Parish Councillor for Ellel made a Declaration of Interest on the grounds of knowing the landowner and some of the speakers. In June, when the application was made, there were 44 statements in opposition and none in favour.
Issues raised relate to the increased risk of flooding, loss of green
fields, worsening of air quality, further strain on Galgate medical services,
the visual impact on St John’s Church and the Silk Mill, and very serious
concerns about road safety on Chapel Lane - narrow, sinuous, lacking
continuous footpaths, and therefore dangerous to walkers, cyclists and
There was an especially strong objection from the Parish Council - see below
Originally the application was due to be heard in November, with the same number of speakers in opposition but was deferred.
The following residents spoke for 3 minutes each at the meeting and this is synopsis of what each said.
Greenfield site adjacent to Church (Grade 2 Listed and Sill House) and close to Silk Mill
Proposed finish of the development not in keeping
Brownfield site for retirement home had been turned down
Righmove demonstrates no need or demand for development
Lane hazardous and on street parking making it more so.
How many 55+ want to live in bungalows that are not adjacent to facilities?
Selective use of data - including acoustics
Peter Cheason speaking for Susan Aspinall
Decision to downsize at 55+ is a decision into old age
People without car, wheelchair bound, mobility scooter would not be able to reach facilities
The few footpaths are often obstructed by parked cars
As a Professional carer can demonstrate hardly room to walk
No affordable bungalows
Traffic survey under-estimated because undertaken outside university term and no reference to recent survey where Chapel Lane was identified as exceptionally busy
Developers have ignored portion of Chapel Lane heading north and include pedestrians with prams
Added to this Planning Permission granted to Silk Mill - 107 student apartments
Wife was brushed by van avoiding oncoming traffic
Large vehicles get stuck
Proposed better use for field proposed for development would be for extension of cemetery - adjacent to Church, a benefit to community
Where is the demand for 32 bungalows?
Risk of flooding from from run off
Water run off contributed to over-burdenening of Conder on 22 November 2017 with water pouring down Langshaw Lane especially.
Soak away proposed, tests were carried out in August/September 2017 - during a period of dry weather
Soak aways don’t cope well in heavy rain
Filter drain proposed for top of site Filter drain stop water, these have a high failure rate
In a flood event water can be delayed and delivered at worst possible time
Scenic beauty of Chapel Lane
Dangers from traffic through lack of pavements on twisty lane with blind corners- cars, pedestrians and cyclists
2 examples -
Turning into drive on blind corner cyclist flashed past not seeing him and missed by inches
Walking on lane nearly hit by cyclist on bridge
Increasing traffic more incidents
Vivid description of torrent of Conder flowing down Chapel Lane to meet a torrent from field where the development is proposed. Council should not be supporting development which will make flooding worse
Chapel Lane will become more congested and no footpaths and on dangerous sections.
14,000 people study or work at the university. Danger of major accident increased
Reminded Councillors of 44 objections
Worked through the papers
County Highways were troubled
Local Plans team were concerned about air quality
The Parish Council, an elected statutory body, representing local opinion, is
also alarmed by the risk of exacerbating road safety, air pollution and
Local Council’s DPD aspirations - should ‘be located where the
environment and infrastructure can accommodate the impacts of
expansion’, should be located on a primary bus route because of ‘the needs
of older people’, and should ‘contribute to affordable housing’. This
development is not compatible with these aspirations.
Site adjacent to disused mill race.
The Environment Agency visited Galgate at the end of October 2018 and confirmed they knew nothing about another culvert that ran from the Silk Mill to the old mill on Salford road, that contributed to the November 2017 floods. There is currently no water in the existing culvert but without detailed investigation of it and other related culverts linking to the River Conder is there not a danger that building adjacent to it will add to the already serious flooding problems faced in Galgate village?
Deborah Smith from Developers Applethwaite Ltd Chronic shortage of bungalows, Applethwaite Ltd were unique among developers in proposing bungalows
There is a back up plan to build houses on reduced site but it would be a lost opportunity for LCC as no technical reasons to turn down.
She then left without waiting for decision
Mark Potts Lancaster City Planning Department
Overviewed application with photos and plans
Highlighted public benefit of serving over 55s outweigh many concerns
Hedgerow on Chapel Lane to be removed
Developer not prepared to go for fewer bungalows
Proposal of footway
Photos seem to show a flat site suggesting a wide angled lens.
Case finely balanced but Planners suggest visual encroachment means benefits don’t outweigh the disadvantages so they somewhat reluctantly recommend refusal
Questions - It was not easy to ascertain the identity of many of the councillors so this is a summary of the questions raised.
It was stated there are no technical matters preventing approval but purely landscape.
It is not adjacent to surgeries, infrastructure so why are these problems not included as reason to refuse?
Shouldn’t we have higher standards for over 55s -especially on primary bus route and wheelchair access
Change of character to the lane
Out of character -why hasn’t this been taken account of?
Highways issues could be a detriment to public safety - the County Council don’t object but may have some reservations
Mention of 20 mile an hour sign at Hazelrigg Lane end of Chapel Lane
Where is M6 in relation to development- photo shown which didn’t show motorway clearly to those unfamiliar with the area.
Councillor Helen Helme (Councillor Helen Helme was known to all of us as Ellel Parish and City Councillor) moved that permission be granted
Bungalows for 55+ supported in Galgate by the silent people in the village
People want to stay in Galgate as they get older
People have come to this meeting because they want to object, you never hear of the supporters
Although this is my patch I feel this is a good chance for us. We need bungalows in this area, the lack of facilities in the area is not real, I ride my horses down the lane.
One Councillor decried Averil McClelland's suggestion of the land being used for a graveyard saying this is unnecessary and a waste as people want to be cremated now.
Objections are on the basis of opinion not fact.
Recommendation for approval -see City Council Planning Meeting Minutes
For reference this extract Minute from meeting 8 October 2018 highlights the strength of Parish Council opposition
Ellel Parish Council Minutes October 8 2018
Minute from meeting 8 October 2018 highlights the strength of Ellel Parish Council opposition
151/18 Planning applications.
18/00335/FUL Proposal : Erection of 32 dwellings (C3) with associated access and landscaping For :
Applethwaite Ltd Site Address : Land At , Chapel Lane, Galgate, Lancashire.
The parish council object to this application with the following observations:
Our council has pointed out many times that expansion of Lancaster University and house building exacerbate both traffic problems and the risks of serious flooding.
We understand that Lancashire County Council have been awarded a sum to investigate drainage issues in this and other parts of the district. This shows, if proof were needed, that there is a recognised problem. A fairly perfunctory knowledge of local geography tells us that water falling to the east of this village meets a very effective dam, the embanked West Coast Mainline. This dam is breached in only two places; the watercourses of Condor/Whitley Beck, in the centre of Galgate, and Ou Beck to the north. All were involved in the destruction and damage, of last November. The water table where Ou Beck passes under the culvert to Shearset Bridge is, high, even in dry periods. The
conversion of Leach House Farm to residences showed this; septic tanks could not be used to dispose of domestic sewage.
An equally objectionable, if insidious, consequence of the traffic problem is the dreadful level of traffic pollution, especially on the A6 through the village. This is at its worst when children are making their ways to St Johns School (Chapel Street), and older children waiting at bus stops, journeying to secondary schools. Moreover, these children are often accompanied by parents with younger siblings: a county council attempt to set up a “walking bus initiative” had to be abandoned because it was judged that there was no safe route to the school from many parts of the village.
Some years ago, Ellel Parish Council carried out a very successful parish plan consultation. There was an overwhelming view that Galgate ought to be able to retain its identity as a settlement and a community distinct from Lancaster, rather than simply be subsumed into the latter.
At a planning meeting earlier this year, the spokesman for a developer was allowed to state that “no statutory objection to his proposed development had been made”, we would remind Lancaster City Council of the following:
Parish councils are statutory bodies and statutory consultees for planning matters: although they may appear to be only a voluntary association, they are elected by the parish and are the first level of Local Government.
Proposed by Cllr Booth
Seconded by Cllr Greenwood.
CLOUD response by Chair, Steve Constantine