Plan for new student flats at Lancaster garage gutted by fire over a decade ago
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An application has been submitted to Lancaster City Council for the erection of a two/three storey building comprising 18 student flats with associated access and layout on the
site of the former Parkfield garage on Bowerham Road, Lancaster by Zubeir Mister.
The site would be 300 square metres and as well as 18 one bedroom studios, 18 onsite parking spaces are planned.
The planning document states that the 18 studios would provide living and sleeping accommodation of around 23 square metres each.
The two/three storey building would be in a traditional design to complement the Victorian properties in the vicinity.
The studio flats would be ideally suited to students studying at University of Cumbria.
The preliminary risk assessment document contained in the planning application says that the site is a derelict vehicle workshop, the walls of which still remain, although there is no roof.
This has not been used for some time, having been abandoned after a fire in 2012.
The inside now houses three burnt out cars and numerous piles of rubble and burnt timber.
The old shop in the southeast corner of the site, is also in a dilapidated state.
This is a predominantly residential area with houses to the north, west and beyond Bowerham Road to the east.
To the south beyond Avondale Road is a post office and houses.
The site was originally developed circa 1920/30 although the original use is not known, the later use, post 1940/50 was a vehicle repair garage, including fuel sales.
The risk assessment document says that contamination from this use is likely to be present, from repairs leaks and storage, possibly at high levels.
Taking into account the nature of the development, a residential development, a potentially high risk to householders is anticipated.
There is potential for contaminants to migrate off-site to the houses, however, the underlying clay is likely to impede migration and only a low likelihood is considered likely.
There is also potential for hydrocarbon vapours to be present from spills/leaks from tanks.
Taking into account the past use of the site it is thought likely that contamination will be present on the site, potentially at high levels.
Lancaster University as a consultee for the development said: “The University welcomes the provision of additional student accommodation in the City.
"As this application includes the proposal of studio development, we would like to see reference of mixed accommodation rather than studio accommodation.
"This studio proposal includes a number of concerns for Lancaster University namely:
a. Lack of dining space in the studios.
b. Poor view-out and access to natural light in some of the Studios could impact negatively on mental health and Wellbeing.
c. Area allocated to waste and recycling looks to be insufficient.”
The applicant Zubeir Mister was approached for a comment.
The application is yet to come before the planning committee for a decision.
View the planning application number 23/01142/OUT at https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/view-applications-and-decisions