Lancaster City Council is proposing the Bailrigg Garden Village as a new settlement in South Lancaster that, set around the expanding Lancaster University, will make an attractive place for people to live and work and create a focus for local economic growth.
The council had proposed to extend development in South Lancaster southwards to help meet needs for housing and growth. In the autumn of 2016 the Government asked local authorities if they were interested in developing new 'garden villages'. The council suggested the 'Bailrigg Garden Village' and in January 2017 the Government selected it as one of 14 proposed garden village sites across the country. The council included the Garden Village in its draft strategic policies and land allocations document (draft Local Plan) in spring 2017 and consulted upon it. Many responses were received. The council is now developing the Local Plan, informed by the consultation response and further evidence gathering and analysis. This work is led by its Housing and Planning Policy Team. Supplementary to this, the council has tasked its Regeneration Team to work on a framework for how the Garden Village should be developed.
Is the Garden Village decided?
Not yet. The council has proposed the Garden Village but a final decision on whether to allocate land to develop it is still to be made as part of the development of the Local Plan.
What happens next with the Local Plan?
The council will decide on the Local Plan it will publish and submit to Government. This decision will include what land to allocate in South Lancaster, including for the Garden Village. Individuals and organisations will then have the opportunity to make formal representations on the Local Plan (either to submit representations in support, or to make reasoned objections against). An independent Planning Inspector will then examine the submitted plan, consider all representations and decide on any changes. This examination is likely to carried out in late 2018. The council should then adopt its finalised Local Plan in 2019.
What do we mean by a Garden Village?
The Government expects a Garden Village to draw from the principles by which Garden Cities were designed and delivered last century, and to be distinctive with high quality buildings and attractive places. The Government wants garden villages to be locally led, so it is up to the council and the local community to plan and shape the Bailrigg Garden Village. The council will take an active, enabling role during both planning and delivery stages.
How much development would the Bailrigg Garden Village involve? How many houses?
The council is seeking the development of 3500–5000 homes for the Garden Village over the period of the Local Plan and beyond, but it is not really about the number of houses. Its more about what we want for the Garden Village as a new place for people to live and work in. How many homes are built will depend on future planning and development decisions and the state of the housing market over time.
How is Lancaster University involved?
The university is integral to the Garden Village plan and so is very involved and will advise on many aspects. The Garden Village will give the university more scope to expand and provide new homes for staff and graduates who wish to live there.
What about traffic?
The council recognises concerns about traffic volumes. A new connecting road between the A6 and J33 of the M6 is essential to make the Garden Village possible. This will relieve Galgate of through-traffic and provide opportunities to improve the village centre.
The Garden Village itself must be about healthy, sustainable living, planned to make it as easy as possible for people to walk and cycle rather than use private vehicles for short journeys. A new bus rapid transit system and cycle superhighway should meet most needs to travel between the Garden Village, the university and the city centre.
What about flood risk?
A development of the scale of the Garden Village will provide an opportunity to plan how surface runoff and drainage is managed, so that we can both properly manage flood risk within the development and reduce risk of flood to homes and settlements downstream and downslope within drainage catchments.
What’s next for the Garden Village?
To supplement the Local Plan work the council has tasked its Regeneration Team to produce a concept plan for the Garden Village and how it should be delivered. This will be developed in parallel with the Local Plan and will:
- study further into issues that affect land and how it may be developed including flood risk and ecology
- engage with the community, landowners and developers, starting with community engagement in October 2017
- work with the county council to plan community facilities, transport and infrastructure for the Garden Village and secure funding
- Produce a concept plan in spring 2018 and engage on this
Whether to proceed with the Garden Village is for the Local Plan process to decide. If it goes ahead the public sector will have a substantial job to do in putting in advance and key infrastructure. Housing development will be primarily for the private sector working to the framework and directions set by Local Plan policy and the concept plan.
- Bailrigg Garden Village Position Statement (pdf, 491kb) (January 2017)
- Draft strategic Policies and Land Allocations Policies Map (pdf, 8.2mb) (January 2017)
- Expression of Interest: Project objectives, Scale and Planning Status (pdf, 2.6mb) (2016)
Whilst the principles of the Garden Village will continue to be debated during the preparation of the Local Plan, the council has separately begun work to shape the Garden Village and design a concept plan.
Last updated: 21 December 2017