250-home development at Carnforth may move forward

Homes England wants to build up to 250 homes at the 12.39-hectare site of the former Lundsfield Quarry on Kellet Road in Carnforth. The developer said that 20 per cent of these will be affordable. 

It first submitted a proposal to Lancaster City Council in April 2019 but has since had back-and-forth discussions with the planning authority and other stakeholders. 

The Westmorland Gazette: The current site, which has been largely abandoned since it was used as a quarryThe current site, which has been largely abandoned since it was used as a quarry (Image: Lancaster City Council Planning Portal)

An updated planning statement pointed to issues that have been raised since the submission of the original application: 

  • The need to ensure the development does not impact the future use of the Carnforth Rangers FC football ground.
  • The need to demonstrate Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).
  • A request to consider the feasibility of providing a footbridge link over Lancaster Canal. 

According to the planning statement, Homes England has since had meetings with council officers, the town council, Sports England, the Canal and River Trust and ‘other stakeholders.’ 

The Westmorland Gazette: The masterplan outlining how Homes England wants the site to look in the futureThe masterplan outlining how Homes England wants the site to look in the future (Image: Lancaster City Council Planning Portal)

Lancaster City Council requested that 10 per cent BNG is delivered. According to the BNG assessment submitted, the development will not achieve this but a potential offset site at Warton Mires has been identified following discussions with the RSPB. This project involves creating a new wetland floodplain opposite Warton village, which is north of Carnforth.

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Around half of the existing onsite biodiversity will be retained, which meets the 30 per cent onsite minimum requirement as agreed between the developer and the council. 

The rest of the newly submitted documents are updated technical assessments.

The planning statement says: “This information demonstrates that there are no reasons from a planning policy: ecological, highways, noise or light, flood risk or drainage, or any loss of amenity due to the adjacent football club, or any adverse impacts on the operation of the football club, or any other material issue that would prevent the proposals from being approved in accordance with the adopted policy.” 

A feasibility study found that an existing footbridge adjacent to Carnforth Bridge provided sufficient access for pedestrians crossing Lancaster Canal to get into town from the site. 

In December 2013, the council approved an outline application by Redrow Homes to build 200 residences on the site. This application expired in December 2016. Homes England is using this as evidence that the principle of residential development with access off Kellet Road has already been established on the site. 

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs