Response from Mr Hal Bagot, Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership
1. Mr Hal Bagot, Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership : 22 Dec 2005 17:14:00
1. Do the vision and the priority themes set out in Section 3 provide a sound basis for the vision and strategic objectives to be contained in the Local Development Framework? Are additional land use/spatial elements required for the LDF?
We agree that the vision and priority themes provide a basis for the vision and strategic objectives of the Local Development Framework. Our particular initiative demonstrates how these themes are interlinked. The canal restoration will contribute to the Jobs Skills and Regeneration, accessible transport, quality environment and improving health agendas.
2. Do you consider that the nine principles for development identified in Section 4 will contribute towards sustainable forms of development? What further principles for development are required in the LDF?
We agree that the nine principles will assist in delivering sustainable forms of development. However, the principles are mostly cast in terms of developments which have a potential choice of location. For a project such as ours, we are restricted to a particular corridor of land, through areas which otherwise may not be deemed suitable for development. There needs to be recognition that some forms of development have unique locational requirements. They should not be unduly constrained by the policy framework.
We would also add an observation that development can bring benefits and the value of the benefits should be assessed and balanced against potential loss or conflict with the principles.
3. Do you think the list in Section 5 contains the main spatial planning issues in the area? Are further issues prevalent that need to be addressed in the LDF?
We agree and endorse the list of issues. Employment land provision is especially needed to facilitate economic growth and regeneration. Whilst recognising the issue of providing affordable housing for local use, we are also concerned for there to be an appropriate level of open market housing in schemes, which are designed to regenerate areas. It is the value of the housing which will unlock private sector investment for public benefit. This balance of interests needs to be carefully assessed if investment is to deliver significant regeneration schemes. We would wish to see the approach to the conservation of the environment to extend to restoration and enhancement, not just protection.
The list makes no specific mention of rural development. It should be an intention of the strategy to facilitate appropriate employment and housing development in rural areas.
The canal is an example of a potential development that requires a linear network of sites to be safeguarded from inappropriate development. The core strategy needs to identify and protect such sites, which have a reliance on one another in order to deliver a significant scheme.
4. Which of the options identified in the three diagrams in Section 6 offers the most sustainable pattern for development? What other options should be considered?
Whilst recognising the potential benefits of option 1 to concentrate development and bring significant beneficial development, we prefer option 3, which presents opportunity to concentrate development in the key centres whilst enabling development in local service centres. This is important for the canal project, as the project will seek to promote development at appropriate sites along its length. Such developments would enable greater and broader spatial public benefits to be derived from the canal’s investment.
5. Do you consider there to be merit in identifying a particular development emphasis for each Service Centre as suggested in Section 7? What should this emphasis be?
We have greatest interest in Kendal. As Kendal is the district centre it has to perform a range of functions and be a significant driver of the district’s economy. We do not think it appropriate that a specific emphasis is drawn for Kendal. The town requires a range of development emphases.
6. Should particular areas be identified in the Spatial Strategy that are less suitable for development? Which areas should be defined?
We acknowledge that some designated areas should be seen as less suitable for development. However, as significant parts of the district have some form of designation we stress the importance of being able to judge proposals on individual merit and their likely negative impacts. A blanket assumption against development should be avoided.
7. What do you consider to be the important socio/economic linkages between communities inside and outside the LDF area? What measures should taken to strengthen these linkages?
We are pleased that the canal’s restoration is cited as an example of connection with a neighbouring district and its potential to draw in investment. The plan should seek to establish a reciprocal recognition and policy support for the development in the Lancaster LDF. Other examples of cross boundary links that need to be acknowledged include the AONB designation and management, transport links, especially cycling, walking and public transport routes.
8. Which of the above major projects outlined in Section 9 do you consider will provide an important means on implementing sustainable development in the District and should be supported in the LDF? Are there other major projects that should be delivered?
8 We are pleased to see the inclusion of the canal restoration project. The project has major potential benefits for the District, acting not only as an investment opportunity in its own right but also as a catalyst for securing additional investment in tourism and employment. It has the potential to be one of the most significant investments in Kendal and the rural area to the south. It is a transformational project.
The canal project and project 3 – South Lakeland Gateway are complementary, improving the visitor potential of the southern part of the District. Gateway has the potential to deliver transport infrastructure and connectivity, which will benefit the canal and potential marina developments in the Crooklands area.
Project 5 offers the potential of an integrated approach to regeneration in Kendal. Access to external funds would enable significant pursuit of initiatives, which would deliver LDF policy goals.
Project 6 Kendal Park and Ride of some form should be encouraged. Whilst acknowledging the difficulties of establishing a viable park and ride scheme, development of parking facilities out of centre with walking / bus links will enable potential re use of car parking sites within the town that are of key environmental value and which offer great potential to the visitor offer of the town. E.g. Riverside.