The huge Lancaster EAs on a road serving thousands of new homes

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Almost a dozen different assessments will be undertaken on the potential environmental impact of a new road to be built as part of plans for a major property development south of Lancaster.

Details of the series of inquiries emerged at a Lancashire County Council Cabinet meeting which approved the layout of a secondary road to serve the Bailrigg Garden Village.

Members also gave the green light to the authority to use compulsory purchasing powers, if necessary, to acquire the land needed for the construction of this road, as well as the wider link project between South Lancaster and associated M6 development – which will involve the radical overhaul of junction 33 of the motorway and the relocation of two of its ramps nearly three kilometers north of their current location – and a park and ride site at Hazelrigg Lane.

READ MORE: Lancaster quarry bosses want to dig an additional 24 million tonnes of limestone

The overall project is designed to create the capacity to deliver nearly 9,200 new homes to the region.

Highways Cabinet member Charlie Edwards told the meeting that the spine road, which is expected to include the construction of an underpass below the west coast mainline, was a “vital part” of the project – and said that it was “really important that we design and develop the infrastructure at the same time as the housing”.

He also revealed that there would be “detailed amounts of climate change and flood risk management [work]”Carried out, the results of which would be considered“ even before one could think of putting a shovel in the ground .

In addition to this, other assessments will focus on the impact of road construction on ecology, landscape appearance, air quality, human health, soils and ecology, regulation of habitat, materials and waste, noise and vibrations and traffic and transport. Cultural heritage, land use and accessibility will also be taken into account.

County Councilor Michael Green, a member of the health and wellness cabinet, said he hoped the pledges “reassure” the large number of people who have expressed concern about the plans.

The meeting learned that so-called “active commuting” – such as walking and cycling – would be at the heart of the development, with Edwards County saying the new roads would not be “just for cars”.

Environment and Climate Change Cabinet Member Shaun Turner added that the canal towpaths would also be a key element to be incorporated into the program, floating the idea of ​​a “connection between Lancaster and Preston and the Guild Wheel “.

Documents presented at the meeting revealed that a planning application for the new roads will ultimately be submitted to Lancashire County Council itself, as the planning authority. For approval. The original intention to use the “development authorization order” process to obtain a building permit directly from the government for infrastructure of national importance was no longer considered appropriate.

Meanwhile, Edwards County said Lancaster had changed “beyond recognition” in the ten years since moving to the town, calling it “Shoreditch of Lancashire”, with a ” artisanal and prosperous feel “.

“I just feel like the missing piece of the puzzle is real jobs and homes for people. So many people have to move because they can’t afford to live where they grew up or that they just rent, ”he said.

“The concern that I have always had with any type of large accommodation [development] is that you get those areas of identity that are not built with the risk of flooding in mind. I want it to be something that is the prerogative and the pride of generations of Lancaster to come – and it will only happen if we make sure we get it now. “

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