Latest News (October 2019)
Thank you to local people who came along to the two consultation events about the Neighbourhood Plan at the end of September, or contributed comments by email. The focus was on two sites which have been put forward by Lancaster City Council for possible housing development – land alongside Quernmore Road and land behind Hawthorn Close.
The Steering Group then met on Tuesday 15th October to consider feedback and decide on any further investigations needed. A group of local residents concerned about the possibility of development behind Hawthorn Close came along too. The Steering Group decided to ask Lancashire Local Authority Highways Department to examine the access to both the sites under consideration together with the safety aspect regarding the visual splay. The pipe on the land behind Hawthorn Close also needs their investigation. Lancashire County Council is our Lead Flood Authority and will be asked to comment on the surface-water flooding associated with both proposed sites. The Steering Group has commissioned some studies of birds and bats, but more work is needed and the help of local wildlife enthusiasts would be useful here.
We don’t know how long it will take to get the official reports, but have provisionally arranged out next meeting for Tuesday 26th November at 7pm in the Victoria Institute (Victoria Room). If you are interested in attending please contact Anne Jackson, the Chair of the Steering Group on 771551 or firstname.lastname@example.org
August 2019 Update
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has worked on our neighbourhood plan since 2015, with advice from Kirkwells (town planning consultants). . 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. 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 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. We commissioned a 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. There were several sites identified, mostly in Caton.
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.’ However we will be using strict criteria to attempt to control the density, design and other factors, such as mitigating the impact.
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 theLancaster City Council Planning website under SHELAA 2018.
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 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
email@example.com or leave a written comment at the Victoria Institute, by the end of September.
Key documents for the current consultation can be seen below, underneath the map.
November 2018 Update
The Steering Group has continued its work on the Neighbourhood Plan. It will be ready for further consultation and eventually examination during 2019.
Following earlier rounds of consultation, we have identified the areas within the parish which will be designated as Green Spaces. If the Plan is adopted and approved this will give them protection from possible future development. We have also defined the boundaries of the Area of Separation between Caton and Brookhouse again with a view to protecting this land from development.
Lancaster City Council have recently completed a very large number of site assessments (SHELAAs) across the entire Lancaster district and have indicated whether they judge them to be suitable or unsuitable for future development. We have recently received details of those which are relevant to the Caton with Littledale Parish. In many cases these are sites put forward to Lancaster by landowners. They will be publicly available on the Lancaster City Council website in January.
The Steering Group has had advance access to the site assessments carried out by Lancaster for our parish. As a result we are about to commission an independent cumulative impact survey. This will be to assess potential effects on the Parish (residents, heritage, landscape and ecology) if all the sites deemed suitable for development by Lancaster were to result in housing development. Only when we have received the findings of the independent survey will we formulate any recommendations for inclusion in the final draft of the plan which will be available in a further round of consultation in 2019.
Convenor of the Steering Group: Anne Jackson
Tel – 01524 771551
Map of the Parish – the area covered by the Neighbourhood Plan