Lancaster District Plan is ready for adoption

25th June 2020

CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region welcomes the publication of Lancaster District’s Local Plan, and are delighted that the Inspector agreed with us that there was no justification to develop an important site in the North Lancashire Green Belt.

As the countryside charity in Lancashire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, we promote the protection and enhancement of the countryside and local greenspace across our area.

We think this is best achieved by having an adopted up to date local plans with enough land for housing identified. The policies help to stop harmful speculative development of land in the countryside. We are therefore pleased to learn that the local plan has been examined and found sound and is due to be adopted. During the early local plan stages, we responded to consultations (CPRE response to Lancaster District Local Plan).

We think 13,000 homes do not align with previous housing completions or with likely growth scenarios. We did not want the Council to set itself up for failure as, failure of the housing delivery test causes the local to be out of date. When this happens, more greenfields are allocated for development, as outlined in the document linked to below:

https://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/set-up-to-fail-why-housing-targets-based-on-flawed-numbers-threaten-our-countryside/

Recent CPRE research (https://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/whats-the-plan-exec-summary/) shows that due to the housing delivery test only 30% of areas are covered by effective local plan policy. We urge the Government to resolve the problem when it brings forward the planning white paper.

Importantly, we highlighted that Lancaster District has many suitable previously developed sites that ought to be used in advance of allocating beloved farm fields for development. Due to the available alternative land, we argued ‘exceptional circumstances’ to release Green Belt did not exist. We called for a number of proposed sites to be deleted.

The Inspector at the Local Plan examination agreed that there was no justification for the development of the Land South of Windermere Road, South Carnforth for 500 homes. The harm to the North Lancaster Green Belt purpose to keep the land permanently open would have been significant.

Jackie Copley, Planning Manager, said “We want Lancaster District’s countryside to be properly valued and protected. Obviously, we urge for brownfield land in urban areas to be regenerated first to deliver housing and jobs. We know the people of South Carnforth will be relieved, and the future generations who will benefit from the fact this land exists for farming, wildlife and recreation.”

Lancaster Local Plan map excerpt extract
Quernmore landscape