Is a 'village of the future' on its way in north Lancashire?
Substantial plans to bring a '˜village of the future' with almost one thousand homes and a range of business opportunites could soon be on its way to land north of Garstang.
Developers M Capital Investment Partners (MCIP), based in Lancaster, are assembling plans to construct the new village – called the ‘Ellel Artisan Village’ – at Home Farm surrounding Ellel Grange Ministry on land west of Junction 33 of the M6.
Residing on both sides of the Lancaster Canal, the village could see up to 950 homes on the site accompanied by a retail and leisure site, a 100-bed hotel, school, church, and retirement village.
Andrew Stanyon, Director at MCIP, said: “When you look at plans to create a new town or village, the main thing is creating jobs.
“We hope to create them first, with the housing to follow. The fact is that housing will grow alongside jobs and business to become completely self-sustainable.”
In the last few weeks MCIP has submitted a ‘scoping opinion’ to Lancaster Council, a document which looks to identify key issues that might exist with the proposal so that the developers can address them prior to any formal planning application.
Whether the plans will be successful remains unclear due to Lancaster Council’s policy regarding the sustainability of new builds, known as its ‘Local Plan’ – something MCIP wishes to be included in.
A spokesman from Lancaster Council said: “The Home Farm at Ellel Grange development is not included as it is not considered to provide an opportunity that would lead to development with the sustainability characteristics that are needed to justify an allocation in the Local Plan.”
There are currently three major urban expansion plans in the city council’s Local Plan, including the Bailrigg Garden Village surrounding Lancaster University, one of 14 new garden villages which have received government backing to bring more than 48,000 new homes across England.
Between 3,500 and 5,000 homes are expected to be built at the new village, with a new connecting road between the A6 and J33 of the M6 being ‘essential’ to the council’s development of the site to ease congestion.
In response to Lancaster Council’s current plan, Mr Stanyon said: “There’s a need for housing and if others create them there has to be a different approach so the way we lead it is through the commercial side of things.”