A vision of the future: This is how a Lancaster estate could look as residents are consulted on multi-million pound redevelopment

Mainway in Skerton is in need of significant investment, and one option could be the complete redevelopment of the area, including the demolition of the current high rise flats.

By Nick Lakin
Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 8:56 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 9:01 am

A consultation with residents is now underway, and options are being considered for the 500 people who live on the estate.

Lancaster City Coun Caroline Jackson, cabinet member for housing, said improvement work to the estate's existing social housing could cost around £18-22m, but that all options were being considered.

An artist's impression of the site appears to show completely new housing units along the River Lune, with the current high rise blocks greyed out, suggesting their potential demolition.

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An artist's impression of how the Mainway area could look.

Coun Jackson said that Mainway was constructed in 1960 and refurbished in 1990, but now requires major improvement work.

She said: "The high rise blocks are coming to the end of their life, and getting to the stage where we have to spend a lot of money in order to get another 20 years out of them.

"They are clad, but not with anything dangerous, however it (the cladding) is breaking down and the buildings are letting in water.

"One option is to demolish some of the buildings and create new houses with an emphasis on community, health, safety, and sustainability.

An artist's impression of how the area could look.

"We're in the middle of talking to residents, and we're asking them how they feel about the area, and how they think we should proceed."

Any demolition would mean residents moving out of their homes in phases into new properties.

Coun Jackson said that any new buildings would be built to high, or Passivhaus, environmental standards, meaning low carbon emissions and lower energy bills for residents.

Lancaster University based research team Beyond Imagination, together with the city council, are currently consulting with residents for their views, and a consultation ‘hub’ has been opened on Captain’s Row for people to drop-in and share their ideas.

Residents are being consulted on future options for the site.

Options could include renovation or regeneration, the creation of more green space and how future changes help the council to meet its environmental obligations after it declared a Climate Emergency in 2019.Coun Jackson added: “The council is committed to providing good quality and affordable social housing for its communities.

“Mainway is in need of significant investment and it is vital that residents are at the centre of our decision-making.

“They know their community best and their skills, knowledge and experience will help to shape the options and ideas for the estate.

“It is important to stress that no decisions have yet been taken and this is just the initial phase of the project, which could take a minimum of five years to achieve.”

There will be a focus on community, safety, health and wellbeing.

Subject to the affordability of proposals, technical appraisal and the availability of funding, a report will be submitted for consideration by the city council's Cabinet in December.