24 November 2019 Newsbrief 59 Help with responding to Planning Applications
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
CLOUD NEWSBRIEF No 59
23rd November 2019
Planning Application : Land north of Bailrigg Lane (Gladmans)
Planning Application : Ward Field Farm
Planning Proposals : Pinewood Close and Grab Lane
The need to respond : No Comment = Assent
CLOUD team - can you help?
Local Plan update
Gladman Developments - Land north of Bailrigg Lane (680 houses)
Council planning ref : 19/01135/OUT
Lancaster City Council - Scotforth East Ward : Councillors Anne Whitehead & Jason Wood
Following a scoping bid in the summer, an outline planning application has now been submitted on behalf of Gladman Developments for land adjacent to Bailrigg Lane. You may well have seen that the report on this on the front page of this week’s Lancaster Guardian. The planning application proposes the erection of up to 680 dwellings, which would make it the largest development in south Lancaster for many years. Vehicular access would be from Bailrigg Lane and Hala Hill.
Critical issues with this development include :
Where are the jobs coming from for the residents of these new houses? The Lancaster economy doesn’t have a mass of job vacancies at present. Are people going to commute down the M6 to jobs elsewhere, so adding to pollution, congestion and accident risk on local roads?
Traffic flows, congestion and pollution. The outcome of the Hearings into the Lancaster Local Plan is not yet known. This Plan holds out the promise of transport developments such as the Bus Rapid Transit system and cycle superhighway to reduce car usage and the associated pollution. However, little detail is provided by the Plan - what routes will these schemes follow, how will the bus service be ‘rapid’ etc. This has been challenged by Highways England during 2019. See reports on our website. To approve new housing schemes in these circumstances is surely premature? Air quality is already an issue in Lancaster and additional traffic will hardly improve matters.
While the main vehicle access is described as being from the A6 through the University’s Health Innovation Campus, access will also be provided from Hala Hill. What would be the consequences of potentially 1,300 extra cars using Hala Hill, the Boot and Shoe traffic lights and Bowerham Road?,
On 30 January 2019, Lancaster City Council declared a climate emergency - see details at https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sites/climate-emergency . One of the aims of the climate declaration is to achieve net-zero-carbon by 2030. How can this be consistent with this housing scheme which looks likely to be highly car-dependent? The nearest existing bus stop is 880 meters (½ mile) from the centre of the development. While there is potential for a bus service into the site, this is only aspirational at this stage and yet it is claimed that public transport will be a realistic choice of travel mode for residents in this development.
Downstream flooding. The drainage scheme for this development has the aim of maintaining run-off at pre-development rates. Residents living downstream of the development may find it reassuring to learn that the situation shouldn’t get worse - but the reality of the ‘unprecedented’ floods in Lancaster in 2015 and 2017 surely means that new developments should contribute to reducing flood risk?
Impact on local services such as school places, GPs and local hospitals and a sewage system, much of which is nineteenth century.
In the continued absence of an agreed Local Plan we are seeing a spate of development proposals which are being assessed though separate planning applications Surely Lancaster city council should be taking a considered view of their cumulative impact?.
Here’s the link to the planning application on the city council website:
Ward Field Farm (68 houses) - Council planning ref : 19/01100/REM
Lancaster City Council - Ellel Ward - Councillors Richard Austen-Baker & David Whitworth
As reported in Newsbrief No 58, the Ward Field Farm development received outline Planning Consent in May 2018, despite objections from CLOUD and other parties. The more detailed Reserved Matters application has now been made and it is this one that is out for consultation. Issues which CLOUD will be raising include :
the flooding risk it represents for Galgate. The current application contains details of what is described as ‘compensatory storage’ for flood water. We have already made contact with the Galgate and South Lancaster Flood Action Groups to see what their view is of this proposal.
Separation zone between Bailrigg garden village and Galgate. The Local Plan included a zone of separation between the southern boundary of the garden village and Galgate. Ward Field Farm lies in this zone and so this development would effectively join Galgate to south Lancaster.
The issues of traffic flows, air quality, impact on local services and the climate emergency declaration noted against the Gladman’s application, also apply to Ward Field Farm.
Here’s the link to the planning application on the city council website :
REMEMBER IN PLANNING TERMS NO COMMENT = ASSENT
It is vital that as many CLOUD members as possible submit their own objection to these 2 planning applications. You may like to draw on the points we have noted above, but please concentrate on the issues which you consider most critical. You don’t have to live immediately next to these sites to be affected. Flooding risks and the impact of all the extra cars will affect a much wider area of south Lancaster. You don’t have to write a massive long letter - a few short sharp sentences in your own words are fine. Encourage your family, friends and neighbours to object so that we demonstrate the strength of feeling on these planning applications. Submitting an objection is essential - silence will be taken as assent. We would encourage you to copy your response to the city councillors in your ward - contact details are available at https://committeeadmin.lancaster.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0
Note that the deadline for comments on these 2 applications is very tight - consultation on both of them closes on 3 December 2019!
NB City Council have now revised deadline for Gladman Developments - Land north of Bailrigg Lane (680 houses)
Council planning ref : 19/01135/OUT to 13 December Ward Field Farm unchanged
Planning Proposals : Pinewood Close and Grab Lane : Story Homes are proposing housing developments at both these locations and have been delivering leaflets around the Pinewood Close area. There are serious issues with both these sites in terms of traffic flows and flooding to downstream residential areas. As yet neither has been formally lodged as a planning application, but watch this space!
We have an enthusiastic but hard-pressed CLOUD management committee, supported by a small expert group and a dedicated team of distributors for CLOUD flyers. We would welcome more support and assistance. If you are able to help with any of the following please get in touch at the CLOUD email address:
Distribution of flyers - this is particularly urgent given all the current planning applications..
Assistance in analysing and commenting on future Local Plan documentation. We expect the South Lancaster Broad Area of Growth Area Action Plan to begin its consultation process in 2020. If it’s anything like the current Local Plan there will an awful lot to read and digest!
Expertise on traffic issues - our previous expert on this subject has moved away from Lancaster.
Lancaster Local Plan Update
From 2017 CLOUD has campaigned against unnecessary housing developments in Lancaster. CLOUD challenged the the excessively high house building targets in the Lancaster Local Plan and in Spring 2019 CLOUD members spoke on this and other issues at the Planning Inquiry. We are now awaiting the Planning Inspector’s report into the soundness (or otherwise!) of the Plan. At present we have no real indication as to when this report will be issued. In the meantime property developers are already submitting planning applications.