An alternative Plan, developed after consultation by the Green Party, proposed more green space, more housing, youth facilities, offices and workshops and less retailing and a smaller car park.
The plan was attacked by Lancaster City Council’s Labour Group who claimed that Centros Miller’s massive retail development proposal was essential for the town so that “people will no longer have to travel to Preston and Manchester for their shopping”.
However a packed public meeting of local residents, organised by Lancaster Green Party heard last Tuesday that the results of the Council’s own most recent shopping survey, carried out by an independent firm, (read it here) showed that 99% of the total shopping spend by residents of Morecambe was done locally as was 96.9% of that done by Lancastrians. Any identifiable leakage came from areas peripheral to the district, such as Pilling and Carnforth (81%) where the proportion spent in the local community dropped slightly, but this could be explained by a higher proportion of residents in those areas commuting to Preston and Kendal and further afield for work, and shopping there to save time – a pattern unlikely to be affected by the proposed development. Since the survey was carried out the most significant change in shopping patterns has been the continuing increase in internet shopping.