• Mary Breakell

23 February 2020 Newsbrief 64 Planning Update and News Awaited

Newsbrief No 64  : 23rd February 2020


Update on Lancaster Local Plan and the Planning Inspector’s report.

Update on the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid.

Correspondence from Highways England about transport planning in Lancaster.

Current Planning Applications.

Assistance needed - appeal to all CLOUD members!


Local Plan.  We’ve been checking the City Council website regularly, but there’s still no sign of the Planning Inspector’s report on the Local Plan.  His report will determine whether the Plan is deemed ‘sound’ (to use the planning terminology) or otherwise and, until the report is issued, the Plan is in a state of suspended animation.  We have heard a rumour that the report is imminent, but it’s been described as imminent since at least last December so don’t hold your breath! As reported in previous Newsbriefs, we’re not optimistic as to how much account the Inspector took of CLOUD’s case at last year’s public hearings, but as soon as we have any real news we’ll let you know.  Please be ready to attend a CLOUD General Meeting once the Inspector’s report is published - this meeting will determine what the next steps should be in CLOUD’s campaign against Bailrigg garden village and other unwelcome and unnecessary developments.

HIF Bid.  We’ve also nothing to report on the bid by Lancashire County Council (on behalf of the City Council) to the Housing Infrastructure Fund for the M6 Junction 33 link into Bailrigg garden village.  This funding is crucial for the garden village development - particularly the large area to the west of the railway line. We were originally advised that the decision would be made by September 2019, but, as with the Inspector’s report, we’re still waiting for news of the decision!

Highways England.  Highways England, the Government agency responsible for the strategic road network, has written another critical letter about the lack of proper transport planning in Lancaster (their 4th since the Local Plan consultation started!).  All these letters are all now on the CLOUD website - this is the link: https://www.cloudbgv2017.co.uk/highways-england-reports-2019-20.  Their main concern is that the City Council is pushing ahead with Bailrigg garden village before a proper assessment has been made of the additional traffic it will generate - and that’s without bringing Climate Emergency concerns into place!  Please read the letters to see exactly what the issues are. Here are a couple of extracts :

“We consider the Local Plan has been advanced before the transport arrangements have been properly assessed both in their own right and as supporting infrastructure for the overall development strategy.”

“We do not consider that the Local Plan Transport Assessment (LPTA) provides a robust transport evidence base, and have concerns over the validity of the conclusions, along with the scope and suitability of the identified mitigation affecting the SRN.”

Current Planning Applications.   Neither the Gladman’s development (land NE of Bailrigg Lane) nor Ward Field Farm are on the agenda for the next city council planning committee meeting on 2nd March, so the earliest date when they may be taken is now the 30th March committee meeting. Don't forget you can continue to post objections up to a week before the Planning meeting. You may find it easier to submit comments by email to dm@lancaster.gov.uk with mpotts@lancaster.gov.uk copied in or by post to

Postal Address: PO Box 4 | Town Hall | Dalton Square | Lancaster | LA1 1QR as these are fully acceptable.

The Gladman proposal in particular has continued to attract objections.  Interestingly one of these has come from the city council planning policy and you can read this on the CLOUD website : https://www.cloudbgv2017.co.uk/policy-officer-s-report-jan-2020 .

This report is critical of Gladman’s development, particularly for being premature, that is to say being made before the Local Plan has been approved.  The land in question is within the proposed Bailrigg garden village boundary so presumably, if and when the Local Plan is approved, the council will want to see this area developed for housing as part of the garden village.  For the moment it would seem that the city planners and CLOUD are on much the same wavelength (for the first time!), though our concerns about Bailrigg Garden Village remain.

Assistance Needed.  It looks as though we’re going to have another busy year in 2020.  The city planners still seem committed to the South Lancaster Broad Area of Growth Action Plan (essentially Bailrigg garden village renamed), with public consultations and a further local plan.   The CLOUD committee needs all the help we can get with tasks such as distributing flyers, reading and commenting on planning proposals and speaking at planning meetings. We already have a team of flyer distributors but more are always welcome - there are a lot of streets in Lancaster! If you’re able to help or would like to know more about what’s involved (without commitment!) please contact : cloudbgv2017@gmail.com

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