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'Last chance' to enjoy much-loved meadow as work set to begin on 78-house development in Lancaster

Bulldozers move in to demolish a house on Watery Lane ahead of a new development on nearby fields. Image from 'Jean Parr for Skerton' Facebook page.

Work has begun to clear the way for a controversial new housing development on a much-loved meadow in Lancaster.

Seventy-eight new homes are due to be built in fields near Whernside Road and Watery Lane despite objections from nearby residents.

Lancaster City Council turned down planning permission for the scheme in 2022, but this was overturned by a government inspector upon appeal.

Recently work has been taking place to demolish a house at 39B Watery Lane to make way for an access road into the new site, ahead of building the new houses.

Councillor Jean Parr, who had campaigned against the development, posted on her Facebook page this week with an update on the work.

"Today the demolition will be complete," she said on Wednesday.

"The builders will be on site tomorrow to begin the preparation for the access road. They may not have time to break through to the field, but if you want to go on the field, this week and this weekend could be your last opportunity."

Councillor Parr and other residents spoke out against the development at a meeting at Morecambe Town Hall two years ago.

She said the 4.1 hectare meadow, which is used by children for play and by dog walkers, was "irreplaceable".

Residents had also held a protest at the meadow prior to the meeting in April 2022.

Lancaster City Council planning committee voted unanimously to refuse the scheme.

But developers Oakmere Homes appealed, and the planning inspector agreed the scheme should go ahead because of a "woeful" undersupply of housing in the Lancaster and Morecambe district.

Oakmere Homes said the development would "deliver much-needed housing in the local area" and had "numerous benefits with no objections from statutory consultees".

Read more: Residents delighted as plans for 78 homes in Lancaster meadow turned down - Beyond Radio

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