Trouble in store for Lancaster?
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January 21 2009
The scheme was previously approved by Lancaster City Council (LCC).
3DReid’s masterplan for developer Centros has run into a brick wall over proposals to demolish a series of unlisted buildings within the town.
These buildings occupy a tip of the triangle of lands under consideration and point directly to Lancaster’s historic core. The developer argues loss of these buildings to be “inevitable” to achieve an essential link between the two areas, remaining demolition work covers surface parking and redundant industrial and distribution infrastructure.
Additional umbrage was aroused by a decision to route foot traffic over the A6 by means of a pedestrian walkway. This would connect directly to upper level retail in St Nicholas Arcades, leapfrogging bleak car parking along Church Street.
EH argue that pedestrian access at grade level would provide better connections than a raised bridge link.
Architect and presenter Ptolemy Dean has led local protests saying: "The continuity and completeness of the town is going to be lost.
“If you go to the continent, they don’t have this compulsion to rip down great chunks of their towns to put in shopping precincts, they make liveable places. We have to make our towns liveable too.”
A consternated Centros counter that their £150m proposal will:
Provide 170 town homes and flats
Create a new park
Restore all listed buildings on site
Enhance the canalside and ringroad
The developer also claims EH had previously acquiesced to their proposals in prior correspondence and deferred decision making authority to LCC, in contrast to subsequent events.
Centros warn that a delay could jeopardise this investment, arguing that the beneficial aspects of their proposal outweigh any value inherent inherent to the buildings themselves.
Subject to approval work is anticipated to start in 2010/11 for completion in 2012/13.
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