Lancaster City Council have been consulting on proposed Main Modifications tothe developing Lancaster District Local Plan. If approved these proposals will have an impact on the town – below is the reprsentation made by the Town Council for consideration by the Planning Inspector.
The mineral safeguarding zones extend across North Lancashire and are not specific to this site. The County policy of safeguarding does not preclude development of this or any site, it merely requires investigation of the potential for minerals extraction prior to development for other uses. Indeed, many other Local Plan sites have the same status.
It is the Town Council’s view that there is no evidence that the minerals in question (sand /gravel and Limestone) are present to such an extent as to enable viable extraction. Even if they are present, the Town Council, representing the local community, does not support another deep quarry, blasting extracting rock next to the existing housing estate at Windermere Avenue that will, inevitably, generate increased HGV movements along Back Lane and increased impact from blasting.
The Town Council is also concerned that the Planning Inspector has not sufficiently considered the consequential implications of deleting the allocation for Carnforth. There will be a missed opportunity to relocate and grow the football club, develop the community sports hub and miss out on a network of public and green spaces coming forward.
Furthermore, the removal of the development corridor from Lundsfield to Back Lane is likely to produce a situation that leaves Carnforth with 500+ new houses (Lundsfield and the A6 developments) and precious little new or enhanced infrastructure in retail, health, social or educational services.
The Town Council strongly challenges the Planning Inspector’s decision to remove the land from behind the Highfield estate from the Local Plan and requests an explanation as to how a modified Local Plan will deliver the sort of development that will enable Carnforth to grow with the minimum amount of traffic congestion and the maximum number of opportunities for residents to access high quality health, educational, public transport and retail services.
In the opinion of the Town Council the drive to achieve unattainable numbers of new build houses is blinding the need to resolve the infrastructure problems that already exist in our town. The removal of references to improved infrastructure in the Local Plan (based on modifications requested by the Planning Inspector) has no regard to development coming forward that is outside of the plan area.
Approved housing development on Scotland Road, at Brewers Barn plus other ad-hoc development and the newly proposed Care Home place a burden on the town at least equivalent to the excluded tranche of land. Whilst we strongly challenge the Planning Inspectors views [as detailed above] we also request that the Local Plan recognises the need for infrastructure improvement in spite of the fact that the Phase II Lundsfield area development has been questioned.