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Plans for 930 homes and new school at Lancaster social club and golf course site

Lansil Sports and Social Club in Lancaster

Plans for around 930 homes and a new school are being developed for the site of a sports and social club and golf course in Lancaster.

A blueprint for the major new housing development on land east of Lancaster - to include Lansil Sports and Social Club and the nearby nine-hole golf course - is at an early stage.

If the development goes ahead, the first phase could include 100 new homes and the relocation of the golf course and associated facilities.

A 'scoping opinion report', publicly available on the Lancaster City Council website, has been produced on behalf of housing developers Persimmon Homes.

This report provides a summary of technical and environmental information that the council would expect to see included as part of any planning application submitted to them for the proposed development. 

No actual application for planning permission has gone in as yet.

The proposed 'East Lancaster Strategic Site' development could also include new roads and a school, a country park, public open space and play facilities, and footpath and cycle links.

The report says: "Persimmon are in the process of preparing to submit a hybrid planning application for the site.

"The intention is to provide the first phase in detail (approx. 100 dwellings), the relocation of the golf course (and associated facilities) and the spine road infrastructure, including accesses.

"The remaining aspects of the allocation such as the provision of associated infrastructure (highways and a school), provision of a country park, open space and 5 play facilities, footpath and cycle links, and sustainable urban drainage features will be delivered in a subsequent planning application.

"The land at Ridge Farm and Cuckoo Farm comprises in the region of 80 hectares of land which is made up of predominantly undulating pastoral farmland used for grazing sheep and cows, as well as some arable.

"The land also includes a number of pockets of woodland and copse, the largest of which is Ridge Wood, which is located at the centre of the site, and Long Bank Wood to be retained within the golf provision.

"The boundaries of the site are comprised by Caton Road and the rear of units on Lancaster Business Park to the north, the M6 motorway to the east, the Ridge residential estate and the Lancaster Canal to the west, and mixed uses including Lancaster Farms Prison and a community woodland to the south.

Caton Road, near the site, is pictured below.

"There are also buildings and land associated with the former Ridge Lea and Moor Hospitals, some of which have been developed for housing. 

"The land is undulating in character with a number of valleys and high ridge lines which provide strong views, particularly towards Ashton Memorial and out towards Morecambe Bay and beyond. The site sits on higher ground above Caton Road and the River Lune.

"The buildings associated with Ridge Farm itself (are) excluded from the site."

Lansil golf course is pictured below

The site was allocated for a mixed-use development in Lancaster City Council's Local Plan in 2020, says the report.

The report also says: "There is an identified need for further education facilities to be provided in East Lancaster.

"This includes the need for further primary school provision to be provided on (the site).

"New primary school provision will be delivered directly as part of the development in partnership with Lancashire County Council.

"The delivery of a secondary school meets a wider strategic need for Lancaster and therefore should be funded through an appropriate charging schedule. It is anticipated that the delivery of a new facility will occur in the South Lancaster area in accordance with the direction of the local education authority."

Various organisations have been consulted as part of the 'scoping opinion' report.

They include Lancashire Constabulary, whose response was:  "As this is a large mixed-use scheme of residential and commercial uses, and therefore could have an impact on crime, disorder, and anti-social behaviour levels in the area we would welcome the opportunity to work with the design team as the scheme progresses through the planning process to ensure that security measures are effectively integrated into the design."

The NHS response was as follows: "We recognise that this is a screening application, but should a formal application be lodged, we would be seeking a (financial) contribution. The NHS cannot continue to accept additional patients without support from the council to develop its estates."

The National Highways response was as follows: "The development has a potential to impact upon the safe and efficient operation of the (road network) by generating over 30 two-way trips upon M6 Junctions 33, 34 and 35. 

"Given the scale of this proposal, we would welcome more detailed discussions with respect to the scope of the transport assessment."

A spokesperson for Lansil Sports and Social Club and golf club said they would not be commenting at this time.

A post on the Lansil Sports and Social Club Facebook page said:

"We just wanted to clarify that this will not affect any bookings going forward.

"This is an exciting venture for us as a club that's been well established for many years.

"At the minute all we need all our customers to understand is we're not going anywhere just yet and going forward nothing will be affected during any transition.

"Lansil Sports and Social Club will continue to offer all our current clubs and host all your function needs for the foreseeable."

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