A masterplan for how Preston can build thousands of new homes is one step away from being given the green light.Advertisement
Councillors will meet on Thursday to discuss whether to accept the Preston Local Plan which includes creating a Garden City in the North West corner of the city.
Planning inspector John R Mattocks has declared the city council’s strategy as sound – but has tabled a list of 30 modifications to the plan.
All of these modifications must be accepted by the city council for the plan to be passed and become the guide for how new developments can be built in the city.
Plans for a new railway station at Cottam – called Cottam Parkway – look set to be shelved from the Local Plan as Network Rail and Lancashire County Council are still negotiating on where the exact location of the new station would be.
The Cottam Brickworks development – which faced possible derailing back in November – is safeguarded in the plan as it would serve the whole of North West Preston and not just Cottam.
Councillors will also have to drop plans for a 400m exclusion zone for hot food takeaways near schools. The planning inspector warns the exclusion zone idea is not enforceable for all schools, but could be for secondary schools.
Councillor John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said adopting the Local Plan would put Preston ahead of other local authorities – with only 47 out of 326 having a development plan.
He said: “Preston’s future housing development, business and commercial locations, transport infrastructure, educational and community facilities are all covered by this Local Plan which sets out how Preston will develop until 2026.
“This will give us the sites we wish to see developed in and around Preston. It will add great weight to our arguments to turn down speculative applications from developers outside the sites allocated. This will be considered by committee and at any appeal by the planning inspectorate.
“However it is not a total veto on developments on brown or green field sites not allocated in the plan. Each scheme will still have to be judged on its own merits.
“Over the next decade, we’re planning for the development of over 7,800 new homes.
“We’re talking quality homes and affordable homes for future generations to live in. But it’s not just about housing. It’s about people and communities.
“Making sure that people can get around easily and efficiently through a modern transport network. That people have access to protected green space and nature, along with doctors, health and other community facilities. To education and future learning for the skills people need to gain access the many thousands of jobs the Preston and Lancashire economy will create over the next few years.
“The Local Plan for Preston is a major part of the City Deal and provides certainty to the future development of Preston. It maps out the city’s future in a way that everybody can be utterly clear about. This is critical – not just for housing and commercial developers but for the people of Preston, as well as future generations who will live and work in the city.”
The Local Plan goes to a full meeting of Preston City Council on Thursday 2 July.
Officers warn councillors: “The Inspector’s recommendations are binding on the Council in that the Local Plan cannot be adopted unless all the recommendations are accepted and included in the final version of the plan. If the Council rejects any of the recommendations then the Local Plan cannot be adopted.”
If accepted the plan would become the guide for developers and planning committee to operate by.
What do you think of the Garden City idea? Do you support the building of new homes in North West Preston? Let us know in the comments below