The Society’s Planning Group studies and comments on planning applications of interest, usually those relating to the city centre, its conservation areas and major schemes in the area.

If you are interested in joining the Planning Group, please contact the convenor, Anne Stelfox,

  The Society’s responses to some recent applications will be found below.

18/00729/FUL  Land adjacent to Bowerham Hotel:   A mixed-use scheme comprising 2 retail units and student accommodation (block of 49 1-bed rooms on the former bowling green and  4 1-bed rooms through the conversion of the outbuildings)

 The Civic Society wishes to raise objections to this proposal on a number of grounds:

Its designation as yet further student accommodation is questionable; a more appropriate use for the site would be for family housing, which may have been considered earlier by the developer given the reference to 15 new homes and the resulting council tax to be raised from the residents (Ref. Para 5.12 of the Open Space Assessment document). It would be preferable to provide much-needed new homes that could diversify the house type in the immediate area.

The need for additional retail space to serve the needs of the Bowerham community is also questionable, particularly when located opposite an existing large convenience store.

In addition we believe that the design of the building is totally out of character with the surrounding vernacular architecture, and appears to reference the features which are becoming familiar in the designs of the City Blocks in the city centre. It will do nothing to complement the recently re-furbished facade of the Bowerham Hotel.

To the rear, the massing of the structure will dominate the terraced houses of Trafalgar Road.and existing parking problems will be exacerbated.

We urge that planning permission is refused.









5 responses to “Planning

  1. Webmaster

    Arguably, our need for beauty is almost as great as our need for companionship. Like the latter need, it is one that we sometimes fail to recognise; and it is also sometimes one that we satisfy without realising it, by responding to patterns and colours (as in clothing) and rhythms (as in popular music) and character (by identifying with the hero or heroine of a story). These are all unconscious references for what are, or are close to, forms of beauty. What this shows is that beauty is so important to human life that it is well worth the time and resources we devote to making and enjoying it, as all history attests. It would be a pity if ever we allowed functionality and profit to hide it from view.

    …as seen in the National Trust Magazine and penned by A.C. Grayling

  2. Winnie Clark

    The focus group mentioned was the “Cultural Heritage Strategy: Public Realm Think Tank Workshop” held 23rd April 2010. The Society’s representatives at the meeting were Jenny Greenhalgh and Roger Frankland. Blue Sail and SQW, the consulatants, issued some notes on the meeting which we will try to put on the website.
    Meanwhile may I echo your thanks to Martin Widden for undertaking to draft a response to the strategy document – we are immensely grateful to him
    Winnie Clark
    Hon. Secretary, Lancaster Civic Society.

  3. John Roff

    Winnie Clark has gone further and very kindly explored with LCC about an officer addressing a ‘scratch’ meeting of the Society. LCC reply that this report is the product of a contractor, and it wouldn’t therefore be appropriate for them to comment until it has gone to Cabinet. (I hope that does not mean that they will not commen5t until it is fixed in stone!) However they do say that the Society was consulted at the Focus Group stage. Can anyone give me any information about this Civic Society’s contribution to the focus group please?

    I think Martin W must be congratulated very warmly on being prepared to put together a response to the draft Report of 126 pages, and the second ‘plan’ document, and I look forward to reading it in due course on this website.

    My purpose is merely to see that comments on the plan by members of the Civic Society actually build on one another’s contribution, rather than – due to lack of information – work at cross purposes.

    Thank you everyone.
    John Roff

  4. Winnie Clark

    Further information and the text of the City Council’s Cultural Heritage Strategy consultation documents can be found on the Council’s website at:

    Printed copies can be consulted in Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls and Lancaster and Morecambe Public Libraries.

    We are investigating the possibility of an extra meeting to discuss this document. Meanwhile members may wish to send a personal response.

    Martin Widden is currently drafting a response on behalf of the Society. If you would like to see and comment on this draft please check the Society’s website or send your email address to Winnie Clark ( so that you can be included in the relevant mailings. The short time scale means that the only viable means of communicating with members over this document is via email or the Society’s website.

    Winnie Clark
    Hon. Secretary, Lancaster Civic Society

  5. John Roff

    Sunday 16th January 2011

    My business is potentially quite urgent. I have noted Lancaster City Council’s draft Cultural Heritage Strategy. The strategy is a guide to investment in the district’s cultural heritage over the next 10 years.
    It sets out a number of key objectives for Lancaster’s heritage that all partners need to work towards. These include managing Lancaster’s Georgian buildings, improving the existing heritage offer and developing the castle as a must-see attraction, raising the profile of Lancaster and promoting it as a modern heritage city. It is accompanied by an assessment of the economic impact that investment in our heritage could achieve.

    I was in London this week, so missed the CS meeting, but I have no notice of this strategy from the Society, and I think it might be our core business! I am wondering if a seminar could be organised by the Society for members, with a Lancaster CC officer invited to address us on the strategy The document is 126 pages long). You may know that comments have to be returned by 4th February. Such a grounding on the thinking behind the strategy might give us a clearer understanding of what the Society’s contribution should be.

    I have felt privileged to be part of some recent discussions with Society members on planning issues, and would like to see greater significance given to this role within the Society. If it were thought appropriate that discussion on the Heritage Strategy were to take place I would be very pleased to play a part in it.

    John Roff

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