Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Centros does the chicken run

Local Greens say they are "unsurprised" by the announcement from developer Centros that it will not appear in an independent public inquiry to address the soundness of its proposals for Lancaster's canal corridor (see news story).

“We have known for over two years that the Centros proposals were fundamentally flawed," said Coun John Whitelegg, "and would not survive a close examination of the evidence by an independent inspector and under cross-examination of its witnesses.

"Centros has done the chicken run and confirmed that it has no confidence at all in its own case for this development.

"We are now calling for the City Council to cancel its futile £50,000 defence of something that the developer itself will not defend.”

The City Council has allocated £50,000 to fight the public inquiry on the side of the developer. Speaking to the Lancaster Guardian last week, Andrew Dobson, head of planning at Lancaster City Council, said: the city council was more than comfortable in defending its position at the inquiry.

"A robust proposal was considered by the city council's planning committee and the council will ensure that this is taken forward into the inquiry," he told the paper.

An alternative scheme for the area, advocating a mix of new housing and small work units, has been prosed by charity SAVE. It might cost a bit less than the projected £5.2 million cost the Council may have to find to clean up Luneside, which is currently being considered.

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