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New date announced for decision on controversial housing plans near Torrisholme Barrow

The land is close to Fulwood Drive in Morecambe

Controversial plans to build 129 houses in fields near Torrisholme Barrow will go back before a committee for a decision later this month.

Councillors voted in April to delay a decision on the Oakmere Homes scheme but will reconvene for further talks on Tuesday May 30 when they are expected to decide whether to grant planning permission.

The housing is earmarked for land close to the gardens of existing bungalows on Fulwood Drive, Williams Avenue and Hamilton Road, and also near the railway line and Torrisholme Barrow.

The delay was to look at an alternative access road onto the site to lessen the impact of construction traffic, and to find out whether a footpath could be provided to the site from Hasty Brow Road/ Slyne Road.

Council officers have recommended the scheme be approved, subject to several conditions including the creation of this new footpath.

However many residents remain firmly against the new housing.

Public objections include increased traffic and longer queues at the nearby Bare Lane level crossing, increased flood risk, the impact on the view from Torrisholme Barrow, increased noise including during construction, the need for more bungalows rather than family houses as the site is unsuited to families being next to a large area of bungalows and retired people, the potential impact on newts and frogs as well as deer, foxes and heron which are seen on or near the site, and the impact on the railway line.

There have also been objections from Slyne-with-Hest Parish Council and Morecambe Town Council.

The Morecambe Town Hall meeting on April 24 was packed with concerned residents - some of whom spoke out passionately against the scheme.

Ian White said the housing would lead to "an alarming increase of traffic on Fulwood Drive" and that the area would be "completely wrecked".

Mr White said there had been "frequent and widespread flooding over the past three years" in the area and that the scheme was "unwise and too risky".

But Graham Love, representing Oakmere Homes, said the scheme would "help to boost housing delivery in Lancaster" and that there had been "no technical objections in terms of traffic and drainage" from County Highways and the Lead Local Flood Authority.

City council officers have said that "whilst the development is considered to cause less than substantial harm to the setting of designated heritage assets (Torrisholme Barrow) it is considered that this is outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme".

Lancaster City Council planning regulatory committee will meet on Tuesday May 30 at 10.30am at Morecambe Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

For all the background to this story, see the link below.

Related Story: INTERVIEW: Residents "very disappointed" as controversial housing near Torrisholme Barrow could still go ahead - Beyond Radio

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