Anger over suggestion that 5,000 new homes could be built near Cowan Bridge (From Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen)
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Anger over suggestion that 5,000 new homes could be built near Cowan Bridge
7:30pm Tuesday 12th August 2014 in By Anna Smith, Reporter
AN MP has added his voice to an outpouring of anger over proposals for 5,000 new homes in a small village.
David Morris, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP, has tabled a Parliamentary motion in support of residents from Cowan Bridge, close to Kirkby Lonsdale, who could see ‘a whole new settlement’ built on their doorsteps.
“I am angry that the city council has plans to build 5,000 homes here,” he said.
“I have tabled a Parliamentary motion in support of the local people whose lives will be devastated if this is allowed to happen.”
The proposal is the last of five options being considered by Lancaster City Council as it attempts to find space for 12,000 new homes by 2031.
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A consultation held recently saw residents turn out in their hundreds to express anger at the plan – and Mr Morris said a packed public meeting proved residents were ‘united in opposition’.
He has now taken the fight to Parliament, with a motion which states the option is ‘wholly unsuitable’ for the area.
Other options being considered by the council inc-lude a single large urban extension, a review of the green belt, development throughout the district’s towns and villages or a large-scale expansion of two villages. Results of the consultation are expected to be published in September.
However, residents will have to wait a year before they will find out whether the plan has been shelved or given the green light.
“It was like a bolt from the blue when this dropped through our letterboxes,” said Graham Parkinson, chairman of Burrow-with-Burrow parish meeting, which covers Cowan Bridge, with around 200 residents.
“It’s frightened us all to death and 12 months feels like a long time to wait. With 5,000 new homes you’re talking 10,000 more cars on the road.
“This is a small, farming community and there aren’t any jobs here. We think it’s a terrible idea.”
Mr Parkinson said the homes would create a town four times the size of Kirkby Lonsdale, where the idea had also been met with opposition.
Coun Janice Hanson, the city council’s cabinet mem-ber with responsibility for regeneration, said: "The option for a new rural settlement in the Lune Valley is a hypothetical one at this time.
"Having such options gives residents a wide range of choices about how to meet the new housing targets which appear to be emerging.
"If such an option were preferred, a location close to Kirby Lonsdale would ensure access to a wider range of services than in a standalone settlement.
"However, it remains important to emphasise that this is just one of a number of choices for local people to consider.
"Feedback still needs to be thoroughly evaluated and none of the options have been ranked in any prefe-rence by the council."
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