Lancaster proposes 1,500 green belt homes in draft local plan

Lancaster City Council has published a draft local plan which is intended to support the delivery of more than 13,500 homes in the city in the next 15 years - including 1,500 on green belt land.

Lancaster Town Hall (pic: IK's World Trip via Flickr)
Lancaster Town Hall (pic: IK's World Trip via Flickr)

The draft plan drops previous proposals for a significant expansion of the village of Dolphinholme, identified in an earlier consultation last October.

But, following a green belt review earlier this year, the council has decided to redraw the green belt boundary so that sites to the north of Lancaster and to the south of Carnforth can be built on.

This includes sites for 1,000 homes between Lancaster and the recently built Bay Gateway link road which bypasses the city, where the council said that the land was no longer deemed to have sufficient openness to justify green belt designation.

The draft plan also proposes taking land for 500 homes south of Carnforth out of the green belt.

The draft document also identifies the scope for large urban extensions to the north, east and south of Lancaster able to provide 5,500 homes, including the possibility of a 3,500-home garden village between the city and the university to the south.

Last year’s consultation proposed a three-pronged approach to delivering the homes: urban extensions to Lancaster; a green belt review; and expansion of Dolphinholme.

However, the draft document says that consideration of the responses to that consultation had "led to an approach that identifies a selection of the most suitable and achievable strategic sites with a limited expectation of role of Dolphinholme in meeting strategic housing needs."

The local authority said that, if approved at a full council meeting next week, the the draft plan would be formally consulted on early next year.

Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member for planning and regeneration at Lancaster City Council, said: "The process of putting together a local plan is lengthy and complex and has to take into account a wide range of factors.

"The feedback we received during last year’s consultation has been instrumental in helping the council to put together the draft plan and, subject to approval by full council, there will now be another chance for people to get involved.

"It’s important that we make progress so we can develop a final local plan to provide the opportunities for people to find work and have a decent home."

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