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Plans for 49 new houses at former Pontins holiday camp approved

Dozens of new homes will be built at the site of a former holiday park near Heysham after plans were approved.

The proposals to redevelop the former Pontins Middleton Tower(s) holiday camp were given the thumbs up by council officers at a meeting this week.

The holiday camp opened in the 1930s but closed in the '90s and the land lay disused for many years.

A 650-home retirement village on the site was given approval in the 2000s after Lancaster City Council initially refused planning permission but the Secretary of State overturned the decision.

A report discussed by council officers said: ‘’"The developer commenced the retirement village, but due to the economic downturn the development ceased leaving a small part of the development built out and the remaining parts of the site redundant.

"Subsequent applications have sought the removal of the age restrictions imposed on each property and the condition controlling the use of the site as a retirement village on the grounds of its negative impact on viability and little prospect of the retirement village materialising."

The plan for new homes, by D Petty, Middleton Towers SPV Ltd, is spread across three parcels of land.

They are for 15 three-bed, two-storey homes and four four-bed, two-storey homes on land north of Natterjack Lane/west of Lavender Way; two four-bed dormer bungalows and 21 three-bed dormer bungalows on Land off Badgers Wood; and seven three-bed dormer bungalows at land to the east of Lavender Way.

The plans also include access, a bus turning circle, open space and landscaping.

The 23-hectare site currently has 53 existing homes, originally built as part of the first phase of the retirement village, and three Grade II listed buildings (The Tower, Ye Olde Farmhouse and the Tudor Bar).

The remainder of the wider site remains vacant with large parts overgrown.

There were three letters of objection and five letters of support from the public.

The council report adds: "The provision up to 49 dwellings including a policy compliant contribution towards affordable housing, at a time when the Council cannot demonstrate an adequate supply of housing, is a consideration that is given great weight.

"The main issue weighing against the proposal relates to the poor accessibility between the site and the closest bus services to access wider amenities and services. However, this in isolation does not mean development cannot come forward.

"In the context of the site’s allocation, the planning history and historical land uses, it is considered that the benefits of the proposal set out above would outweigh the conflicts and adverse impacts arising from the sites remote location and poor accessibility.

‘’Accordingly, it is also therefore considered that the flood risk exception test can be met."

Planning permission has been granted, subject to conditions including the developer paying an affordable housing contribution of £236,601, as well as £55,609.50 towards Middleton Playing Fields and changing facilities and £14,780 (plus VAT) towards the Middleton Pump Track, as well as provision of on-site play area and green space, and the setting up of a management company to manage all on-site infrastructure, open space and landscaping.

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