MAJOR plans to transform a greenfield site near the M6 motorway into a business park will go before planners next week.

Applicant Stephen Chicken has his sights set on five hectares of cattle-grazing land north of Kellet Road, one kilometre east of Carnforth.

He is seeking outline consent to build up to 8,400 spare metres of floor space for offices, industry and storage/distribution, with access for traffic off the A601 (M) road. The buildings' maximum height would be 10 metres upto the eaves.

Mr Chicken is also proposing to do engineering works on the undulating site to create "a development platform", to tie in with the Porsche car dealership which has already been approved there.

The plans will be discussed by Lancaster City Council's planning committee on Monday, September 16. Members have already visited the greenfield location.

Refusal is being recommended by planning officers. In their report, they say inward investment is welcomed but they describe the scheme as "aspirational", with no end users yet identified.

They say there is no guarantee that businesses who have so far expressed interest would end up locating there.

Carnforth Business Network is supportive, and the council has also received four letters backing the scheme, saying it would "improve the brand and identity" of the north Lancashire town as a location for development, and would help create jobs and act as a "catalyst for growth".

Carnforth Town Council is also in favour of the potential investment and job creation.

However, Over Kellet Parish Council is objecting to the change from a greenfield site to an industrial area, calling for the parcel of land to stay in agricultural use.

In next week's report, planners say that developing a greenfield site on the fringe of Carnforth "does not adhere to the emerging strategic approach" of prioritising the area around Heysham Gateway for new job creation.

They say the proposals do not provide "any robust evidence of need" for a new business park at the site, which is allocated as a countryside area in the local plan.

Planners also state the groundworks would have a harmful impact on the landscape's character.