The city council is working to enable development of the ‘Bailrigg Garden Village’ settlement just to the south of the City of Lancaster. This is to be planned and constructed to the best principles of urban design to make an attractive and sustainable place that meets people’s needs for living and working over generations. The aim is for a settlement for some 3500-5000 people co-located with the main campus of Lancaster University.
This initiative is part of the national Garden Village programme whereby the Government supports local authorities such as the city council to plan and deliver much needed housing in new sustainable settlements.
The Garden Village and the growth of Lancaster University are the lead elements in the council’s growth agenda for a broad area within South Lancaster.
To facilitate this the city council as local planning authority has been working over the last two years to
- embed the ambition for the Garden Village in its Local Plan for the Lancaster District and
- support the Lancashire County Council (the Transport and Education Authority) in a major bid for Government funding through the competitive Housing Infrastructure Programme (HIF) towards the major transport and other infrastructure needed to make development possible.
This statement takes each of these in turn and concludes with the proposed timetable for Garden Village implementation going forward.
The Local Plan is essential to framing what the council and the community seek for the Garden Village, setting parameters and giving landowners and developers the certainty to invest.
Independent examination into the Strategic Policies and Land Allocations Document - the main element of the council’s Local Plan – is underway with the local hearing sessions commencing on Tuesday 9th April 2019. This examination by a Planning inspector will determine whether the plan is sound and, as part of this, whether the council can proceed with its growth agenda for a broad area of South Lancaster between the urban edge of the city and the village of Galgate.
Subject to the outcome of this examination the council will proceed with the formal stages of preparing an area action plan (AAP) for growth and development specific to South Lancaster. This will articulate the growth agenda, allocate land for development and set policies for how development is to be achieved.
The council has been working to prepare this area action plan since early 2018. Formerly intended as the Bailrigg Garden Village AAP this is now to be titled the Lancaster South Area Action Plan. This better reflects that the scope of the plan is for more than the Garden Village.
To prepare the AAP the council has to date;
- gathered and commissioned evidence into key issues such as drainage and flood risk and ecology. Published evidence is available to view on the council’s web site.
- consulted successively on ambitions and aspirations and issues and options
- worked with partners on the infrastructure needed for development and aspects of delivery
- engaged with landowners and developers to understand their aspirations
Substantial development and growth in South Lancaster is dependent on major infrastructure and transport change fitting to the county council’s Highways and Transport Masterplan 2016. The HIF bid is for essential infrastructure to serve South Lancaster and the Garden Village and to advantage travel by buses, walking and cycling and the outcome will much shape how we plan and design the Garden Village and fit it to the city. The county council must submit the bid by late March 2018 with a Government decision on it expected by the summer.
The council had hoped to consult informally on a Draft AAP this winter but time and the upcoming period of purdah towards the May local elections now does not permit this. The council will now work towards formally consulting on a Draft Plan in the autumn of 2019 with the actual timing depending on the outcomes of both the local plan examination and the HIF bid.
The AAP will provide the foundation for Garden Village masterplanning. The council has initiated preliminary visioning and conceptual work and will hopes to collaborate on masterplanning with partners, landowners, developers and the community.
The local plan including the AAP should be in place by 2020. Provided the HIF bid is successful the county council will work to provide the necessary new infrastructure from 2021/22. This in turn should permit developers to bring forward masterplanned proposals for development fitting to the AAP and submit planning applications for the council to consider .
Last updated: 04 March 2019