Planning Meeting held at Lancaster Town Hall, Monday 4 February 2019 10.30pm

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.

Janette Ireland

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

Flood risk

Lane hazardous and on street parking making it more so.

Andy Poulter

How many 55+ want to live in bungalows that are not adjacent to facilities?

Selective use of data - including acoustics

Drainage issues


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


Graham Creer

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

Averil McClelland

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?

Tony Newton

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


Myles Griffiths

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


Peter Lea

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


Stephen Constantine

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

flooding problems.

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.


Mary Breakell

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.


Other comments

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