Thursday, 12 September 2013

Morecambe Area Action Plan brings new vision for the seaside town

Plans to encourage people to stay longer and spend more in central Morecambe are at the heart of the new Morecambe Area Action Plan approved by Lancaster City councillors yesterday.

The project is the culmination of three years close working with the community to come up with a plan for central Morecambe that can be delivered and will make a difference.

The plan sets planning policies for central Morecambe that are very welcoming of private investment large and small - provided development proposals are beneficial.

It calls for a range of actions over the coming years that play to the town’s strengths including having a fantastic seafront and a town centre with many independent businesses so close by.  The actions are much about increasing footfall, making central Morecambe a place more want to do business in.

There will now be one final opportunity for people to make representations on the plan before it is examined by a Planning Inspector. The council aims to formally adopt the plan next year.

“I think we’d all agree that Morecambe needs to change if we are to create more and better jobs, increase incomes and improve experiences for residents and visitors alike," says
Councillor Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration.

“There is a lot to do if we are to get the private sector to come in and invest and we need development in the right places.

“The MAAP is going to be key to us being able to do that and its publication is a milestone, but there is still a long road ahead and we all need to work together to make this town the place it can be.”

An Area Action Plan is a Development Plan Document that will form part of the Lancaster District Local Plan Together with the Core Strategy they will form the most important considerations in determining most planning applications in central Morecambe.

The preparation of an area action plan will put in place a comprehensive and robust planning framework to provide for the development, conservation and change needed to secure lasting regeneration gains. It is both a policy and delivery tool and goes beyond traditional land use policy documents by considering issues of funding, timing and delivery.

The Morecambe Area Action Plan will provide a framework to facilitate and manage development and change within central Morecambe over the next ten years or so to 2023/4,  identifing key infrastructure projects that will contribute to the regeneration of central Morecambe. It will direct investment, give increased certainty to potential investors, build confidence and assist the council in securing funding and facilitating development.

Economic circumstances inevitably will affect the pace of regeneration but bringing forward the MAAP should ensure that central Morecambe is well placed to capture and benefit from economic upturn when it finally comes.

More info on the Morecambe Area Actuon Plan on the Council's web site here

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