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Have your say on the Mill Race Conservation Management Plan

People are being invited to have their say on a plan which aims to sustain, enhance and promote one of Lancaster’s most historic areas.

A Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been drawn up for the Mill Race area of the city and aims to improve the historic character around North Road, Lower Church Street and St Leonardgate.

This area is part of the wider Lancaster Conservation Area and traces the development of the city from its Roman and medieval settlements through its great expansion in the 18th and 19th century as a result of trading opportunities arising from the city’s position next to the River Lune.

The purpose of the CMP is to set out what makes the area significant and guide its future use and management. It is an important component in maximising the benefits of the Lancaster High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project, thanks in part to funding from Historic England.

Councillor Gina Dowding, cabinet member with responsibility for planning and placemaking, said: “Whilst the Mill Race itself is hidden from view today, it has had, and continues to have, a major impact on the city.

"The Mill Race is a channel of water that lies underneath some of Lancaster’s low-lying streets, including North Road, and is thought to have gained its name in medieval times for powering mills, including the town’s circa 1574 cornmill located near what is now Damside Street and Dye House Lane.

"Over the succeeding centuries, the Mill Race gradually became covered over and was underground by the end of the First World War, but it has dictated the layout of buildings that we see today.

“The Conservation Management Plan will play a critical role in supporting and enhancing this important part of Lancaster and I would urge anyone with an interest to get involved and have their say."

The consultation is open for six weeks from Friday November 4 to Friday December 16. There will be a drop-in event held at St John’s Church, North Road, on Saturday November 5 from 2pm-4pm during Light Up Lancaster.

The drop in will also be an opportunity to find out more about Mill Race: Flow of Change, the cultural programme linked to the HSHAZ, as well as talking to Anne Bennett, the artist behind the light art on display and finding more about what’s planned for the church.

Alternatively, to view the CMP, visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/millrace-cmp and complete the online questionnaire.

If you do not have internet access, paper copies can be found at Lancaster Town Hall and Lancaster City Museum.

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