Consultants have been called in to help the city council figure out how the North West of Preston can grow.Advertisement
A “masterplan” will be produced for how the area around the M6/M55 taking in Broughton, Cottam, Woodplumpton and Bartle can support new homes.
Preston City Council has expressed its desire to see up to 4,000 new homes built in the area.
A planning war between developers and the city council has broken out about the North and North West edge of the city as the demand for housing has seen numerous planning applications rejected.
The city council’s planning committee have pointed to the lack of transport infrastructure, school places and community facilities in the area.
Consultants URS Infrastructure and Environment Ltd will need to work out how an area of mainly green space and a few main trunk roads can cope with thousands of new residents.
Deputy leader of the council, John Swindells, said: “Preston is a great place to live and there is much demand from housing developers to build and invest here. But it is very much a case of ‘chicken and egg’.
“Preston does not yet have the roads, schools or community infrastructure ready to support up to 4,000 new homes. There’s no point building the homes for people to get snarled up in traffic, or for children to have no school or play areas. It is also important to get the right mix of development in terms of affordable, starter homes and also family homes.
“That’s why we are preparing a comprehensive master plan of the whole north west Preston area. This will help to work out exactly what type of development and supporting infrastructure is needed for the new residents that will live there.”
The creation of a masterplan follows the publication earlier in year of Lancashire County Council’s own masterplan for transport.
County Hall chiefs have pledged to pump £275 million into improving transport links in Preston and the surrounding area.
Two key snags which will need to be resolved before any development can begin in the North of the city are the changes to the Broughton roundabout, due to start in June, and the creation of a Broughton by-pass.
Marcus Hudson, Head of Planning at Lancashire County Council, said of the creation of a North West Preston “masterplan”: “We are pleased to be working closely with Preston City Council on the north west Preston master plan. Supporting growth and new development in and around Preston is good for the area but also the county’s wider economic prospects and attracting new higher wage jobs into Lancashire.
“This housing is crucial to Preston’s fortunes and it’s vital that we get the balance of development and supporting infrastructure right.
“This master plan will form a key part of the Preston City Deal, which the County Council is also pleased to be working on as it will bring hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and new jobs into Preston.”
A draft of the North West masterplan is due to be delivered in October 2013 and will be followed by a formal public consultation.
Do you live in the North West of the city? How do you feel about the idea of new homes? How do you think the city should develop? Let us know in the comments below