In 2015 the Parish Council decided a Neighbourhood Plan was needed to shape development in our village. This was particularly important here as Lancaster City Council had designated Caton and Brookhouse as sustainable settlements (Policy DM42 in the Lancaster Development Management Plan adopted 2014). Sustainable settlements are villages which are a focus for growth outside urban areas and so the Lancaster plan may direct development towards them. The Parish Council asked for volunteers to form a Steering Group. With advice from Kirkwells Ltd (town planning consultants), the Steering Group has worked on our neighbourhood plan. . The Group has already held several ‘drop in’ events and asked residents to complete both a questionnaire and on-line survey. These responses were very helpful as they informed the decisions made as we drew up and developed the draft plan.
The Steering Group intends to hold two further ‘drop-in’ events to allow local residents to comment on aspects of the plan.
The two main areas we need your comments on are:
Designation of Green Spaces. These have to be demonstrably special to the area and once designated there is protection against development. The Green Spaces we have designated are:- Millenium Track; Station Field; The Bowling Green, Caton; Beckside; Fell View Playground; Parish Woodland, The Glen, Caton; Sports Field, Caton Community School.
We have also drawn detailed boundaries to create and protect the Area of Separation between Caton and Brookhouse on both sides of Brookhouse Road.
Development Sites. As Lancaster City Council has decided Caton and Brookhouse are sustainable settlements, we have to have a neighbourhood plan which addresses the questions of where, how much and what type of housing development is accepted.
In order to establish which sites could be used for development we used the Lancaster City Council Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) recently updated in 2018.
There were several sites identified, mostly in Caton. We commissioned an independent Landscape and Visual impact Survey to look at all the sites individually and to assess the overall impact on the villages of cumulative development. We have also commissioned a wildlife survey for the same sites.
However we will be using strict criteria to attempt to control the density, design and other factors, such as mitigating the impact. We are very aware that Caton and Brookhouse sit within the Forest of Bowland AONB and therefore ‘all development is expected to conform to a very high standard of design, to be in keeping with local landscape character and should seek to conserve and enhance the AONB’s natural beauty.’
The sites which are emerging from our independent professional advice are:-
Land at Mill Lane: Land to the South of Hawthorn Close; Land to west of Quernmore Road
Full details can be found on the Lancaster City Website:
Planning Policy : Evidence, montoring information, then Housing Studies, and then go to SHELAA .There is an interactive map there too.
If one or more of these sites were to be allocated for development we want to know what kind of development local residents would want to see there. For example, low rise, sustainable, affordable housing, specific design features.
This is your chance to come along and talk to us, ask questions and give us your opinions on what you would like to see within the village.
The two events will be held on:-
Tuesday 24th September at Caton Victoria Institute between 3pm and 8pm.
Wednesday 25th September at Brookhouse Methodist Church between 3pm and 8pm
Members of the Steering Group will be there to answer your questions and listen to your views. We want to hear what you think about our plan.
If you cannot attend then you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a written comment at the Victoria Institute, by the end of September.