PLANNING bosses in north Lancashire are launching a public consultation on proposals to build 12,000 new homes across the district over the next 20 years.
Lancaster City Council (LCC) said the additional homes would be needed ‘to meet housing needs fuelled by an increasing population and a growing economy’.
During an eight-week consultation from June 2 to July 31 the public will be asked their opinion on the best approach to identifying where to place the new homes and the accompanying infrastructure.
Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Economic Regeneration and Planning, said: “The scale of the task we are faced with is not to be underestimated.
“Through the work we have done already we have found sufficient land to accommodate 7,000 new homes, but this still leaves a significant shortage of 5,000.
“To fill this gap we need to ensure that we are taking the right approach and to do that we need the help of the public.”
One of the choices facing the council is to change policy and build on ‘green belt’ land north of Lancaster and Morecambe and south of Carnforth.
Building a brand new town in the Lancaster district is another proposal to be considered to tackle the housing crisis or the council could spread the new houses through the district’s towns and villages.
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Another option is to expand two existing villages by more than 2,000 houses each.
The consultation will ask people to comment on suggested targets and the approaches to identifying sites.
The results will be used to inform the next stage, which will be to consult on the most supported approaches with more detailed proposals, which is expected to happen in early 2015.
More information can be found at www.lancaster.gov.uk/planningpolicy.
Drop-in events are taking place on:
* June 18: Bolton Le Sands Village Hall, 12.30am to 4.30pm
* June 24: Victoria Institute (Caton), 2pm to 7pm
* June 25: Nether Kellet Village Hall, 2pm to 6.30pm
* June 26: Hornby Institute, 2pm to 7pm
* June 27: Fraser Hall (Cowan Bridge), 2pm to 7pm.