SJ Bargh has successfully secured planning permission for a maximum of 30 dwellings at SJ Bargh’s former premises in Caton, near Lancaster. Lancaster City Council refused planning permission and a Hearing was held before a Government appointed Planning Inspector in October 2015. Key findings of the Inspector include:-
- Up to 30 dwellings, on a previously developed site, did not constitute a major development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Substantial weight was given to the significant housing shortfall.
- Lancaster’s adopted planning policies do not require a marketing exercise for residential developments on employment sites and the benefits of the residential scheme outweighed the loss of a relatively low grade employment site.
- The consistent support for a residential redevelopment of the site by the local community was a material consideration in weighing the benefits against loss.
- A residential development offers a real prospect of improvement to the character and appearance of the eastern approach to the village in the context of the AONB designation, whereas an employment redevelopment for factories or warehousing would be less attractive from a landscape point of view.