Major plans to transform a greenfield site near the M6 motorway just across Cumbria’s southern border into a business park are set to be refused.

Applicant Stephen Chicken wants to develop five hectares of cattle-grazing land north of Kellet Road, one kilometre east of Carnforth, to create 8,400 square metres of offices and space for industrial and storage/ distribution use.

He also wants to undertake engineering works at the site – which would be accessed from the A601 (M) road – to create a “development platform” which ties into the Parker & Parker Porsche Centre development, which has already been approved.

However, planning officers at Lancaster City Council are recommending that the ambitious plans are refused when the authority’s planning committee – which has already visited the site – meets on Monday (September 16).

In a report, planning officers say that while the scheme is “aspirational”, no end users have been identified and there is no guarantee that businesses who have so far expressed interest would end up locating there.

However, Carnforth Business Network supports the scheme, arguing that 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.

A report to planners says that developing a greenfield site on the fringe of Carnforth “does not adhere to the emerging strategic approach” of prioritising land around The Bay Gateway road – connecting the M6 to Heysham and Morecambe, 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.