There is currently a planning application (ref 19/00541/OUT) for 250 houses south of Carnforth at Lundsfield quarries. This is one of the areas designated for new housing in the Local Plan, so the chances are that it will go ahead. For background, Matt and Patricia met a City Council officer back in December to look at these areas.
The important thing, from Dynamo’s point of view, is to get good-quality, joined-up cycle infrastructure built from the very beginning so that the very first residents have a safe, sustainable way to get from their houses to shops, schools and railway station. We have objected to the current planning application as follows:
Dynamo Cycle Campaign objects to this planning application as it currently stands because there is – as yet – no definite commitment or plan for safe cycle access between the development and the shops, schools and railway station that residents will use. Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015) states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport”
Moreover Carnforth is an Air Quality Management Area, and extra motorised traffic is the last thing it needs.
The Transport Assessment is includes a letter from WSP dated 31 October 2017 to David Bloomer of the County Council which says:
“In respect of pedestrian and cycle accessibility, our client is currently investigating the feasibility of providing access to the east (towards Dunkirk Avenue and Highfield Road) and to the west (via a pedestrian bridge across the Lancaster Canal). Delivery of either of these access points is dependent on the extent of land ownership, and we hope to be in a position to further update you on this at our meeting on 9th November.”
and section 6.6 of the Design & Access Statement refers to
“There are two options under consideration for a potential new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Lancaster Canal, to better link the proposed development to the town centre to the north. One link is to the west where the bridge would land adjacent to the Canal Turn pub, and the other link option is to the north where the bridge would land within the North Road school playing fields, and a new footpath connection created across the school land (separated by a continuous fence) to Oxford Street. Discussions have taken place with all relevant landowners, including the Canal & River Trust and subject to the outcome of these negotiations and viability considerations a preferred route is to be identified.”
If this development – along with others planned for this site – is to be sustainable, these proposals should be firmed up (rather than merely remaining “under consideration”) before building begins. Building additional canal bridges and making Dunkirk Avenue and/or Windermere Road into safe cycle routes requires careful planning. It is essential that such a large development promotes sustainable transport from the very start.