Monday, 12 September 2011

Lancaster's Greenfield sites under threat from development?

Lancaster’s Green councillors are calling on the City Council not to support development on major Greenfield sites across the district, but to concentrate instead on regenerating brownfield sites including the canal corridor in central Lancaster.

The call comes as the consultation period on the Council's draft Development Management and Land Allocations Development Plan documents draws to an end (see news story): any comments must be made by 16th September.

The list of land allocation sites in the public consultation includes some of the most important greenfield and public open space sites in the district including: Whinney Carr, Bailrigg, Grab Lane, Miss Whalley’s Field (on Derwent Road), Freeman’s Wood and various sites off Aldcliffe Road and Ashton Road.

Council should focus on brownfield site development such as Luneside East, say Greens
“The Green Party is very keen to support mixed use, community-oriented, development on former industrial sites such as Luneside East and Luneside West, or on large areas of ugly car parking such as the canal corridor," insists Councillor Jon Barry. "However, we cannot support large scale development of the countryside and open spaces.”

“In my own ward, the area of Freeman’s Wood has been used by local people for many years and is a vital source of recreational space for the Marsh. The area also supports a wide variety of wildlife, including deer. The sites off Aldcliffe Road have previously been dismissed in a report by planning experts for the Council – so I don’t know why the Council is still putting these forward.”

Commenting on the proposals for Whinney Carr, Councllor Chris Coates said “We already know that traffic on the A6 is at full capacity. Developing sites at Whinney Carr, Grab Lane and Bailrigg would create gridlock in the southern approaches to the city and unacceptable urban sprawl.

"The Council’s planning exercise earlier in the year showed that it is perfectly possible to put virtually all of the houses on brownfield sites, and this is what they should be concentrating on.”

The Greens concerns echo concerns from other locals to the consultation process. "The exhibitions the Counci ran over the Summer were merely to tell local people that there was a copy of War and Peace available for them to read," feels local Rick Seymour.

"Many people have commented on the Land Allocation Plans, in a 'NIMBY' way, but this misses the bigger picture of the development document [which fewer people have commented on], which that will be the planning policy of the council.

"When the DPD comes into effect it will replace all planning policy and guidelines. This is really a very big deal."

The Council seems well aware the Land Allocations document would attract more comment than the more important Development Management plan. "While we have taken every reasonable step to engage with the public at this interim stage of the Development Management DPD process, we are aware that the Land Allocations document can be seen being as more engaging to the public as lines begin to be drawn on maps," a member of council staff told one respondee to the plans. "This can be shown by the larger number of the comments on the Land Allocations document and the greater variety of commentators."

• To view the consultation documents and make comments, please visit http://lancaster-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal. Alternatively you can email your comments to ldf@lancaster.gov.uk 

• View the Green Party response to the proposals (PDF)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent response, thank you so much for putting this together. So pleased that someone is out there sticking up for the greenfield sites.