Today’s release of next Wednesday’s agenda and papers for a full council meeting of Lancaster City Council shows that councillors will debate a cross-party motion calling on the Government to protect the right of communities to object to individual planning applications. This debate will take place in the context of fierce local debate about whether and where new homes should be built in the district.
Cllr Dr Erica Lewis, Leader of the Lancaster City Council Labour Group said, “In 2017, it was estimated that 10% or 6185 households in the district lived in housing need. A number that is only likely to have increased during the pandemic.
If you talk regularly with residents, as Labour does through its year-round programme of calling on residents, or spend time on local social media forums, it won’t be long before someone raises a need for quality, affordable, accessible, sustainable housing whether for people looking for their first home, needing a home for their family, or looking to downsize. There clearly is a need for more housing in the district.
We also know that services within the district are stretched, whether that is schools or GPs’ surgeries, and repeated flooding shows our natural environment is overstretched too. What the Lancaster District needs is new homes that meet the needs of our residents as well as the needs of our local environment.
This is what the process of planned development in south Lancaster is intended to deliver and why in addition to the many years of consultation that went into the Local Plan, there have been and will continue to be specific consultations about a masterplan for Bailrigg Garden Village and an Area Action Plan for Lancaster South.
At a time when the Government is working to weaken the say of local residents in the planning process, it is vital that Lancaster City Council does all it can to strengthen resident engagement and put in place safeguards to resist the weakening of the planning system and to ensure that our district gets the homes many residents desperately need.”
More information is available here – this page will continue to be updated.