Evidence, monitoring and information
Reports and studies that inform the development of the Local Plan
An evidence base is being prepared for the Lancaster District Local Plan. Evidence base documents can be found on this page, arranged by topic area. Some evidence base documents have been superseded by subsequent documents. Where documents have been superseded these are identified and retained in the evidence base for completeness. In addition to these documents other relevant documents such as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG), which are available nationally, and other city and county council documents can form part of the evidence base.
A list of all evidence documents (that supported the adopted Local Plan in 2020) is available in the Local Plan Evidence Library . The documents themselves can also be viewed by topic area below.
- Additional evidence such as updates to the SFRA, the AMR and the new Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy can also be viewed below.
- For evidence documents prepared as part of the partial review of the Local Plan, (Climate Change Review) can be found here.
- For evidence documents prepared for the Lancaster South AAP can be found here.
Authority Monitoring Reports (AMR)
The Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) is a document which is produced by us annually, looking back at the previous financial year from 1 April to 31 March. The AMR assess the implementation of the local development scheme and the extent to which our planning policies are being achieved. It includes an updated five-year housing land supply position covering the relevant monitoring period.
The report also includes details of:
- the progress made with documents included in the local development scheme
- progress with neighbourhood development plans
- cooperation with other local planning authorities
- monitoring indicators
The Localism Act (and subsequent Town and Country Planning Regulations 2012) removes the requirement for local planning authorities to produce an Annual Monitoring Report for Government. However, the Act retains the overall duty to monitor and there is clear benefit for the council in sharing the performance and achievements of the planning service with the local community.
Employment and Economy Studies (Eme)
Employment Land Review (Elr)
The Employment Land Review represents a core element of the council’s understanding of local employment and economic issues and is an important part of the evidence base which will inform and assist in the preparation of the Local Plan for Lancaster District 2011-2031.
Economic Prospect Reports (Ep)
The council commissioned Turley to prepare the report ‘Achieving Economic Potential’ in 2015, looking at how we could seek to achieve economic growth within the district through the forthcoming plan period. The strategy looked at the district’s economic strengths and weaknesses before setting out a number of opportunities for economic growth. This work was further updated in September 2017. As part of the evidence gathering process to develop the Local Plan the council commissioned consultants Hall Aitken in 2018 to prepare an Inclusive Growth Report for the district, the aim of the report is to consider how a future economic growth strategy for the district should deliver benefits for all communities within the district and the issues which a future economic growth strategy must address including the provision of more support for business start-ups, the evolution of local services, improving the quality of life for workers through the delivery of new housing and services and addressing the challenges of the gig economy and a tight labour supply .
Green and Blue Infrasture Strategy (GBI)
The Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy aims to highlight the importance of connecting green and blue spaces together, their multifunctional value and the contribution they make.
Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)
Flood risk assessment plays a part in informing the local plan. To inform the sequential approach to the allocation of development through the emerging Local Plan, the council commissioned external consultants JBA to prepare a Stage 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) which was completed in late 2017. Following its completion, JBA were further commissioned to assess a further nine sites which had been identified through the emerging Local Plan. These sites have been subject to more detailed, site specific assessment which consider the suitability of proposed development within respect to flood risk. These sites include land at Kingsway South Lancaster, Masons Carpet Warehouse Lancaster, Mellishaw South White Lund, Mellishaw North White Lund, land off Caton Road, Glasson Industrial Estate, Land off Imperial Way Heysham and Port of Heysham. The assessment sets out the levels of potential flood risks associated with these sites and sets out a number of observations and recommendations over future development. These recommendations and observations sought to inform the preparation of the Local Plan, which was adopted 29 July 2020. Please refer to the Environment Agency for the most up-to-date information.
- View flood risk documents (evidence to support the adopted Local Plan July 2020)
- View 2017 SFRA interactive maps (evidence to support the adopted Local Plan July 2020)
- View 2021 SFRA interactive maps (evidence to support the review of the Climate Emergency Review of the Local Plan, details here
The above SFRA interactive PDF interactice maps may download automatically to your Downloads folder, depending on your browser settings, however if they don't please read the step by step on how to do this HERE.
Green Belt Review (GBR)
Lancaster City Council has prepared a review of the North Lancashire Green Belt in order to inform the preparation of the local development plan for the district. The purpose of this Green Belt Review is to provide an objective and impartial appraisal of the North Lancashire Green Belt against national Green Belt policy, in particular the five purposes of the Green Belt as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Local Green Space (GS)
In March 2012 the Government, through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced a new Local Green Space designation. Whilst the Council has undertaken a substantial audit of existing areas of green and open space provision across the district (through the Open Space Assessment), it is recognised that Local Green Spaces are something different. They are identified by the community and nominated because they are considered to be demonstrably special to the community, in reasonable close proximity and local in character. In accordance with the methodology (which was subject to consultation), all sites which passed Tests 1-3 proceeded to Test 4, and were then assessed by the Local Green Spaces Working Group, whom based upon the evidence submitted, then decided whether the site should be provided special protection and recommended for allocation within the Strategic Policies and Land Allocations DPD.
Landscape Assessment (LA)
In 2012 Woolerton Dodwell undertook a landscape assessment of 5 strategic sites (Whinney Carr, Bailrigg, Grab Lane, Heysham Energy Coast and Carnforth South), alongside a review of existing key urban landscape allocations (a local landscape designation).
In 2015 Arcadis carried out ‘Landscape, Townscape and Visual Field Surveys’ for a number of sites across the district, to provide a summary of the potential harm to landscape/townscape character, visual amenity and cumulative impact.
Consultants Arcadis were commissioned to undertake landscape and visual assessments for 10 sites (Bailrigg Garden Village, Land at Cuckoo Farm / Ridge Lane East Lancaster, Land at Hammerton Hall North Lancaster, Land at Beaumont College North Lancaster, Land at Lundsfield Quarry Carnforth, Land South of Windermere Road Carnforth, Heysham Gateway, Land at Grab Lane East Lancaster, Junction 33 Agri-Business Centre Galgate and land off Fleet Lane / Melling Road Hornby). The assessment seeks to identify at a high level the likely landscape impacts and visual implications which could result from development and provides Zones of Theoretical Visibility for each of the identified sites. .
In 2018 Arcadis also undertook a review of the Key Urban Landscape designation, and as part of which created a new designation ‘Urban Setting Landscapes’ which recognises that some landscapes serve a supporting function and are linked to their surroundings.
In late 2018 the council commissioned consultants Galpin Landscape Architecture to undertake an assessment of its existing evidence base in relation to the Urban Setting Landscape (USL) boundaries for the East Lancaster and North Lancaster Strategic Sites and advise on the appropriateness of the existing boundaries how these might evolve through the development of more detailed proposals. The report disaggregates the USL areas into character areas providing individual descriptions for each area and advising on the need for boundary changes.
Ecological Studies (ES)
Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) were commissioned to undertake a range of ecological survey work. This began in 2015/2016 with detailed Preliminary Ecological Appraisals of the spatial development options consulted upon as part of the People, Homes and Jobs consultation in 2015. Eight sites in total were assessed (South Lancaster, East Lancaster east of the M6, East Lancaster west of the M6, North Lancaster, Torrisholme, South Carnforth, Slyne-with-Hest and Dolphinholme). Following on from which Preliminary Desk Top Ecological Assessments were carried out for a number of other sites being assessed through the SHELAA process. The conclusions of these desktop studies then determined whether or not further survey work was required prior to the allocation of a site, or prior to development (at planning application stage). Dependent upon the findings, for some sites further survey work was required and these included: Wintering Bird Surveys, Breeding Bird Surveys and Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (including Great Crested Newt surveys).
Archaeological Assessments (AA)
To aid the site assessment (SHELAA) process, Lancashire Archaeological Advisory Service were commissioned to undertake initial desktop archaeological assessments. These identified known heritage assets within the site, assessment of the site’s potential to retain unknown buried deposits, identification and consideration of heritage assets within an appropriate distance of the site (usually 500m), overall conclusion to establish whether the site is considered to be of no/some/high archaeological significance and whether heritage assets are considered to be of negligible/local/regional/national importance, and where deemed appropriate recommendations are made for future survey work.
Heritage Studies (HS)
Heritage studies, such as the ‘Canal Corridor North: Assessment of Heritage Values & Significance’ (2012) by the Conservation Studio and the ‘Lancaster Cultural Heritage Strategy’ (2011) by Blue Sail, have informed the evidence for strategic policies and land allocations. To aid the site assessment (SHELAA) process, a number of Heritage Impact Assessments have been produced. In 2013, the Architectural History Practice (AHP) were commissioned to produce a ‘Setting Study’ for the potential site allocation at Grab Lane. The study identifies the heritage assets affected by the potential allocation of the site, assesses the impact of the proposed development on the significance of those assets and identifies mitigation measures. In 2017-2018, ‘Heritage Impact Assessments’ were produced by the Conservation Team. These have identified known built heritage assets affected (designated and non-designated heritage assets), assessed the site contribution to the significance of these assets, assessed the impact of the potential site allocation of the significance of the heritage assets, considered what enhancements and/or mitigation measures could be achieved through the allocation and provided a recommendation on the potential site allocation. In addition to this, the Conservation Team produced ‘Townscape Assessments’ in 2017 to aid the Sustainable Settlement review. These provide a brief account of the layout and historic development of the 58 rural settlements within the district.
JBA Consulting were commissioned to undertake a strategic phase 1 contaminated land study and a strategic constraints analysis for three strategic sites; North Lancaster, East Lancaster and South Carnforth. (Please note Bailrigg Garden Village is being explored separately through the preparation of the South Lancaster Area Action Plan DPD). This also includes an assessment of the environmental setting and SUDs advice.
Air Quality and Contaminated Land (AQ)
Air quality consultants were commissioned in 2018 to prepare an air quality position statement in respect of the strategy, policies and proposals of the submitted Local Plan. The position statement sets out baseline (current) air quality conditions based on monitoring undertaken by Lancaster City Council. This provides evidence of where concentrations are currently above relevant air quality objectives. This is then followed by a review of the allocations of the Local Plan in relation to potential impact on the Air Quality Management Areas. An evaluation of potential mitigation options for the future is provided, and a qualitative analysis conducted of the potential impacts of traffic generation and associated mitigation.
The statement acknowledges that allocations in the Local Plan have the potential to increase traffic both within the AQMAs, and elsewhere and that further technical work to support the Local Plan is required to identify where the impacts are likely to be, the impact of the mitigation outlined in the report, and to what magnitude these (positive and negative) impacts are likely to be.
However, the position statement concludes that the strategy, policies and proposals of the Local Plan and Lancaster District Highways and Transport Master Plan are actively seeking more sustainable means of transport and promoting innovation. It is anticipated that development will act as a facilitator of measures that will positively address air quality issues, as opposed to being solely a contributor to existing air quality concentrations. Lancaster City Council is seeking to implement the measures outlined through the policies proposed within the Local Plan. Without such development it is not clear how these measures could be funded.
The council has prepared a Planning Advisory Note (PAN) to provide guidance and encourage developers to support action through the planning system to improve air quality and lower transport emissions. It provides guidelines for the treatment of development sites through a planning appraisal. It is anticipated that this PAN will be in time be formalised into a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) following the adoption of the Local Plan. The approach set out within this PAN seeks to minimise harmful pollutant emissions, avoid significant impact on local concentrations and protect the wider public from unacceptable exposure to pollution. In achieving this it seeks to tailor assessment and mitigation requirements according to specific site characteristics which relate to both nature and scale of the associated impacts and risk.
Housing Studies (Ho)
Housing Land Monitoring (HLM)
The housing land monitoring report provides detailed information on the supply of housing land across the district. The report includes information relating to annual completion rates, housing commitments and five-year land supply trajectory.
Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA)
The 2018 SHELAA has been prepared by Lancaster City Council and supersedes the 2015 SHLAA. The findings from the SHELAA form part of the council’s evidence base and is used to inform policy decisions and help identify which sites are taken forward for allocation within the emerging Local Plan. Site assessments have been carried out objectively and are based on the council’s evidence that has been prepared as part of the Local Plan process. Assessments have not taken into account local planning policy considerations, such as Green Belt and landscape designations. A total of 600 sites have been considered. A series of constraints and filters have been applied to rule out a considerable number of sites from further assessment (e.g. sites under a certain size threshold and / or located outside of a sustainable settlement). Furthermore it should be noted that the sites being taken forward through the Lancaster South Area Action Plan DPD are to be assessed separately as part of the AAP process. Of the remaining sites, 102 have been positively assessed for housing and could potentially accommodate 7,112 new dwellings, and 39 sites have been positively assessed for economic use. Of the 39 economic sites there are 8 new sites that could potentially provide around 55ha of employment land (the remaining sites are existing employment allocations).
Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)
In 2014 the council commissioned Turleys to provide an Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN) figure for the district. The Independent Housing Requirement Study was published in 2015. Taking account of a wide range of supporting information and market checks the study reports a range of scenarios of housing need in the district providing the evidence base for employment and housing growth in the Local Plan. Lancaster Independent Housing Requirements Study (Part I) was completed October 2015. In December 2017 the Council recommissioned Turleys to assess the council’s position in relation to its OAN. The Verification Study seeks to test the 2015 OAN recommendations and determine whether they remain valid in the context of changing circumstances including new household projections, updated house price data, national planning policy changes, changing economic growth projections and the latest views of Local Plan inspectors and the courts. The report confirms that the need for housing in the district continues to fall within the wider range of projected housing need established through the 2015 Report confirming a general consistency between the findings and updated modelling included within the report. The report was completed March 2018. In February 2018 the council published the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) (Part ii) (2018). The study provides an up-to-date analysis of the social economic, housing and demographic situation across the area providing an assessment of housing need and affordable housing requirements in the district and an analysis of the housing needs of specific groups of people.
Background Housing Standards Paper
The council has prepared a housing standards paper to support the emerging approach of Policy DM2 (Housing Standards) of the draft Development Management DPD. The emerging policy sets out requirements for optional housing standards relating to floorspace and accessible / adaptable homes and considers the merit of introducing an optional water efficiency standard and a wheelchair housing standard. The standards paper sets out more detail on the standards proposed and how they can be incorporated into new development.
Sustainable Settlement Review (SSR)
Lancaster City Council has undertaken a review of the assessment of the settlements identified as sustainable within the Development Management DPD by Policy DM42 (approved 2014). Prior to conducting the review, a revision to the methodology was proposed. The revised methodology was subject to consultation and a copy of the finalised methodology can be found at the link below. This has been used to conduct the Sustainable Settlements Review, an interim report that can also be found below. The Sustainable Settlements Review is an evidence based document that informs the Local Plan: a policy decision is needed to conclude which settlements should be identified as sustainable settlements. This policy decision in made in the Local Plan. A background paper has been produced to explain how the evidence collected through the Sustainable Settlements Review has informed planning policy decisions.
Affordable Housing (AF)
This 2010 study examines the influences of a range of affordable housing thresholds and proportions on development viability.
Gypsy and Traveller Assessment (GTA)
The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) Report provides the latest available evidence to identify the accommodation needs of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople from across the area. This data provides a picture of current provision and activity across the Lancaster district and an assessment of future need. The findings of the study provide an up-to-date, robust and defensible evidence base for policy development.
Retailing and Town Health Studies (Rtc)
Sport and Recreation Studies (Sr)
Lancaster District Open Space Study
The Lancaster District Open Space Study was prepared by external consultants Knight, Kavanagh and Page (KKP) and finalised in November 2018. The study comprises two elements:
First, the assessment of known areas of public open space in the district under a series of different typologies – parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural greenspaces, amenity greenspace, provision for children and young people, allotments and community gardens, cemeteries, green corridors and coastal areas. This was based on and supported by assessment work which had already been undertaken by council officers. The assessment report provides a clear indication over what areas of public open space should be protected within the emerging Local Plan.
Second, the study comprises a standards paper which sets out current deficiencies in public open space provision (of the typologies described) and the contributions which are required from new development towards open space provision, whether this be on-site requirements or the financial requirements in lieu of on-site provision.
Lancaster District Playing Pitch and Outdoor Sports Strategy
The Lancaster District Playing Pitch and Outdoor Sports Strategy was prepared by external consultants Knight, Kavanagh and Page (KKP) and finalised in January 2019. The strategy comprises two elements:
First, the assessment of existing playing pitch provision in terms of quantity and quality for football, cricket, rugby (union and league), hockey and other outdoor sports including bowls, lacrosse athletics and netball. The assessment work was based on and supported by assessment work undertaken by council officers. The assessment report provides a clear indication over what playing pitches and outdoor sports provision should be protected within the emerging Local Plan.
The second element of the strategy comprises an Action Plan which sets out the current deficiencies in playing pitch and outdoor sports provision (of the sports described) and the contributions required from new development towards addressing such deficiencies.
Transport Studies (Tr)
In 2018 the council commissioned external consultants, White Young Green (WYG) to prepare a transport assessment for the district. The assessment has been split into two stages. Stage 1 assesses, in high level terms, the capacity of the existing highway network to accommodate the future traffic flows expected to be generated by the proposed allocations in the emerging Local Plan on key parts of the district’s highway network. The city centre has not been a focus of this assessment as this is being considered in detail through the emerging Movement Strategy, being prepared by Lancashire County Council, which will consider future travel patterns in and through and around the City Centre to promote more sustainable forms of transport. The assessment identifies key congestion points within the district, identifying congestion northbound along the A6 Corridor between Junction 33 and Lancaster City Centre in the AM peak and southbound in the PM peak with some congestion within Carnforth Town Centre.
Stage 2 considers and sets out a range of mitigation measures and junction improvements which seek to address highway capacity concerns. It should be noted that these suggestions are those of an independent consultant and not of Lancashire County Council, the local highways authority who may in the long-term determine that there are more suitable forms of mitigation taking account of the wider considerations of land-ownership, air quality and maximising sustainable transport movements across the network. The assessment looked at a number of potential improvements to junctions along the A6 corridor between Galgate and Lancaster City Centre, the A683 corridor between Junction 34 and Lancaster City Centre and Kellet Road in Carnforth between the town centre and Junction 35. Generally, the suggested forms of mitigation are relatively small and do not rely on third-party land. The transport assessment undertaken by WYG has been prepared to demonstrate that mitigation can provide increased capacity to accommodate development growth within the district. However, whilst there may be measures available within the existing highway network in the short term it is expected that longer-term measures will be required, including new infrastructure and greater use of more sustainable travel modes.
Viability and Infrastructure Studies (VI)
The council commissioned external consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to prepare a viability assessment for the district. The assessment has been split into two stages. Stage 1 focused on a range of generic sites to provide a broad brush assessment of viability across the district. This split the district into the following market sub-areas; Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham, Carnforth, Rural West and Rural East. Site typologies were used which ranged from large sites of 150 homes down to sites of six homes. Sites were also split between greenfield and brownfield locations. Further assessment was provided on apartment schemes and consideration of employment land in the district.
Stage 2 of the viability assessment, prepared by LSH, focused on the strategic sites proposed for development in the Local Plan, these being East Lancaster, North Lancaster, South Carnforth and Lundsfield Quarry Carnforth. Given the scale of the development proposed in these locations, further consideration of viability has been deemed to be necessary. This includes a more detailed assessment of the known infrastructure costs for each site. Bailrigg Garden Village has not been considered as part of this process as it will be considered through the preparation of the Lancaster South Area Action Plan.
The council has prepared an Infrastructure Delivery Schedule which sets out the infrastructure requirements related to the delivery of the Local Plan. The schedule sets out the types of infrastructure required (this can relate to highway matters, public transport, cycling and walking, open space, education and other community facilities), the anticipated costs, the timescales for delivery and those responsible for delivery. The schedule also sets the priorities for infrastructure delivery. The Infrastructure Delivery Schedule is a living document which continues to be updated in light of new evidence and information.
Evidence Base Consultations - supporting the adopted Local PLan (2020)
|May - June 2018 and ongoing||Future Gypsy and Traveller Sites|
|November 2017 to 4 December 2017||Open Space Consultation|
|16 November 2017 to 5 December 2017||Viability Study Consultation|
|4 August 2017 to 8 September 2017||SHLAA Methodology|
|20 June 2017 to 19 July 2017||Strategic Housing Market Assessment|
|19 June 2017 to 17 July 2017||Sustainable Settlement Methodology|
|15 May 2017 to 30 May 2017||Gypsy and Traveller needs assessment|
|15 May 2017 to 12 June 2017||Heritage Impact Assessment|
|19 October 2015 to 20 November 2015||Green Belt Review|
|September 2015 and ongoing||Call for sites|
|February 2015||Local Green Space Review|
Phone: 01524 582383