11 January 2020 Newsbrief 63
NEW YEAR GREETINGS TO ALL CLOUD MEMBERS!
Lancaster Local Plan - update
Gladmans planning application - update
Ward Field Farm planning application - update
Annual Monitoring Report from Lancaster City Council
Storm Desmond flooding in Lancaster
Lancaster Local Plan
At the time of writing we are still awaiting the Planning Inspector’s report on the Local Plan. As you may recall, the last event - back in October 2019 - was the consultation exercise on the Inspector’s proposed main modifications to the Plan. CLOUD submitted objections to these modifications, as we reported in an earlier Newsbrief. We don’t have any firm information as to when the Inspector will report, but there are suggestions that it could be fairly soon. There is also no news of the bid submitted by Lancashire County Council to the Housing Infrastructure Fund for work on the M6 J33 enhancements, the bus rapid transit system and the cycle ‘superhighway’. We were originally given to understand that a decision on this application would be made in September 2019. We will continue to monitor the Council website and other sources of information and will let you know as soon as we hear anything. If any CLOUD member knows more than this, please get in touch!
Gladmans’ Application - land NE of Bailrigg Lane 19/01135/OUT
It remains our understanding from the city planners that this application is unlikely to be considered by the Planning Committee before their March 2020 meeting. The deadline for submitting responses has now passed and all responses are available on the Council website. Click this link 19/01135/OUT . There are an impressive number of objections - 109 public objections (that is objections from local residents) and 14 from ‘consultees’, that is statutory and other bodies who were invited to comment. CLOUD’s objection is one of these consultee responses. This shows the strength of feeling against this application. It is notable that Highways England, the Environment Agency and the City Council’s Environmental Health Officer have objected strongly . Highways England objected to the scoping bid because of the absence of a developed transport plan for South Lancaster, a complaint that they also made in 2 letters relating to the Local Plan. The Environment Agency has objected to the Gladman application on the grounds that the increase in flood risk downstream has not been acknowledged and there is no assessment of what impacts this may have. The Environmental Health Officer objected on air quality grounds. Lancaster University has also raised concerns. The University supports the idea of Bailrigg Garden Village but sees the current proposal premature in since the Planning Inspector’s report has yet to be published. They also raise concerns over access to the site and transport options. To read objections to Gladman objection: Start at the Application Summary for 19/01135/OUT - click on the 'Related Docs' tab - then click on 'view associated documents’. To refresh your memory on CLOUD’s objections follow this link. CLOUD needs to prepare for the Planning Committee to ensure we present the strongest possible case against this development. We were advised by the Planning Office that they do not expect the Planning Meeting to be before March 2020. We were also told, informally that comments and objections will be accepted up to one week before the planning meeting.
Ward Field Farm 19/01100/REM
As with the Gladman’s application, we are now awaiting news on when the Planning Committee will consider Ward Field Farm. This application attracted 40 public objections, somewhat fewer than Gladmans but still an impressive total. Follow link 19/01100/REM]. CLOUD was of course one of the consultees objecting to the application but unfortunately neither Highways England nor the Environment Agency objected.
Annual Monitoring Report
Lancaster City Council issued its monitoring report for the year 2018/19 in December 2019. You can read it on the Council website. [Follow link https://planningdocs.lancaster.gov.uk/NorthgatePublicDocs/00960465.pdf] and see the Council’s report on social, economic, housing, transport and other developments over the last year. From the CLOUD perspective, there are several points of interest in the report:
In terms of population, Lancaster is the fastest growing local authority in Lancashire. The age profile shows above average numbers in the 15-24 age group due to the city’s 2 universities - and increasing student numbers are presumably a major cause of the high growth rate? There are also above average numbers in the 65+ group. This age profile raises questions about recent proposals by developers which concentrate on 4-5 bedroom luxury houses.
Average property prices rose in Lancaster by 0.7%, compared to a national average of 3.3%. This is further evidence that Lancaster doesn’t have the severe housing shortages of other parts of the country and again casts doubt on the house building targets in the Local Plan.
Neighbourhood Plans. The report states that 11 villages and towns within the Lancaster council area now have neighbourhood plans. In relation to CLOUD’s campaign against Bailrigg garden village, it is notable that neither Galgate nor south Lancaster have neighbourhood plans. We don’t understand why not and wonder whether the introduction of such plans might help with issues such as flooding and housing development? If any CLOUD members have views or information on this subject please get in touch.
Flood Risk. The report acknowledges flood risk as a challenge but in a rather cursory and short paragraph.
The M6 J33 Housing Infrastructure Fund bid is reported (in December 2019) as being ‘anticipated imminently’.
Concerns over absence of Lancaster County Council Report on Storm Desmond floods in Lancaster.
Articles appeared in both the Lancaster Guardian and the Visitor this week highlighting calls for the full report on the Storm Desmond floods of December 2015. It is over 4 years since flooding devastated over 332 Lancaster properties. CLOUD welcomes Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox’s call for Lancaster County Council to end the desperate uncertainty and to publish their report identify a scheme to protect properties in the long term from the overwhelmed millrace that flows under Lancaster. This is the second time that calls have been made for this missing report by Councillor Hamilton-Cox, an earlier call being made in March 2019.
A big thank you to all CLOUD members and supporters for your donations at last October’s AGM and subsequently. We’ve received a total of £640. After paying for the 2019 AGM room hire, printing the flyers on the Gladmans’ and other planning applications (November 2019) and renewing our membership of CPRE, we have a balance of £523 for our ongoing campaigning.
CLOUD Management Committee