|Disused Mitchell's Brewery building|
Image courtesy British Land
New owners of the Canal Corridor development site British Land tell us today that to begin their engagement with the local community, they will be posting an introductory leaflet to every home and business in the Lancaster City Council area next week. (You can download a PDF copy of the leaflet here).
A project website – www.canalcorridor.info – has also been established and their aim is to make this a constant source of up-to-date information on the scheme as it evolves over the coming months.
British Land aims to bring the development forward through working in partnership with Lancaster City Council and in close liaison with English Heritage, other key stakeholders and the local community.
The company will be seeking everyone’s suggestions and comments about the proposed development and the website features an online feedback form for people to submit their views. An email address – email@example.com – has also been provided and for those who prefer to submit their comments by post or do not have internet access, a Freepost address ‘FREEPOST CANAL CORRIDOR’ has also been set up.
Community Consultation Day in Market Square
To begin to meet and get to know local people, British Land will be holding a ‘Community Day’ on Tuesday 14th May – when people will be able to meet members of the British Land team and discuss ideas for the development in a mobile exhibition trailer to be parked in Lancaster’s Market Square.
Richard Wise, Head of UK Retail Asset Management and Development for British Land said: “Our aim is to deliver a scheme that complements the site’s historic setting and we look forward to creating a retail and leisure destination to serve local people and attract significant numbers of visitors to the city.”
The British Land development team has already started to engage with both English Heritage and key local stakeholders such as the two theatres. They tell us that a comprehensive engagement programme to consult the public and local interest groups will follow over the coming months, and the feedback received will be used to help inform the development of the scheme.
British Land note in their leaflet that they are taking steps to ensure that the listed malthouse and brewery tower are made safe and that they will be undertaking the repairs in close liaison with English Heritage and Lancaster City Council.
The leaflet also notes that 'more and more local people have taken to travelling to Preston, Manchester, Blackpool and even Carlisle to buy the things they want.' VL has today asked BL public relations man Steve Bryson for any data source that might throw more light on this and we will update you with the result.
It is anticipated that conceptual ideas for the development will be ready before the end of the summer and, depending upon how soon planning permission can be secured, construction could start as early as 2015 and the development completed in 2017.
It's Our City
Billy Pye, a member of local residents' group It's Our City (www.itsourcity.org.uk) commented: "We are looking forward to seeing British Land's plans for the site. We would remind people that Centros are still involved as the Development Manager. Given that this is the case, we hope that they have learned from before, and we hope that they carry out meaningful consultations and that that will result in a plan based on what the community actually wants and needs."
Fresh Mix on the Development Team?
British Land, the project’s investor and developer, appointed city centre regeneration specialist, Centros, to manage the development through the planning and construction processes. BL has now appointed an architectural team consisting of retail masterplanners and architects, Chapman Taylor, and historic building specialists, Richard Griffiths Architects.
The current BL development team includes:
• Development manager: Centros
• Masterplanner and lead architect: Chapman Taylor
• Historic buildings architect: Richard Griffiths Architects
• Planning consultant: GL Hearn
• Transport consultant: Mayer Brown
• Structural engineer and environmental consultant: Waterman Group
• Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds
• Letting agent: Jones Lang LaSalle
• Valuation surveyor: Hitchcock Wright
• Lawyer: Lawrence Graham
• You can find extensive background on the above Canal Corridor development story by searching this blog for 'Canal Corridor', Centros' and 'British Land'. The history prior to October 2008 can be searched at www.virtual-lancaster.net.