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Are all the new housing developments in Preston a good or bad thing?

Posted on - 23rd September, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Cottam, Fulwood, Redevelopment
New houses on Lightfoot Lane

It is clear to see that new houses have been springing up all over the city.

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Durton Manor, Lightfoot Lane and Cottom Way are just a few of the roads in Preston that developers have started building on.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to meet the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the area. This includes identifying key sites which are critical to the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period, which should ideally be 15 years.

Policy Four of the Central Lancashire Core Strategy sets out the number of new houses required in Preston.

New houses on Lightfoot Lane

These are in line with the Regional Strategy, which is equivalent to 507 dwellings per year to 2026 and a total of 6084 dwellings across the remainder of the plan period (2014-2026).

Read more: Cadley FC to expand to two new sets of pitches

Is there a need for all this new housing in Preston? Are the new houses being bought? We had a look at what Preston had to say:

What Broughton Parish Council says:

Pat Hastings, from Broughton Parish Council, said: “In 2015 the Preston Local Plan was agreed by the council, this was the end of a 3-year consultation and linked with the Central Lancashire Core Strategy and the National Policy Planning Framework(NPPF). This included a target for the number of new properties Preston would build between the inception of the plan in 2015 and 2026 which worked out at approximately 5000 (or about 500 a year).

“This included using brown field sites and a whole new development in North West Preston with its own infrastructure including link and distributor roads and the new junction on the M55 motorway at Catforth. The plan also included schools, shops, Health centres and play areas. These developments, as well as the Whittingham Hospital site, were designed to bring in the majority of the new homes required.

“But, these developments were slow starting with builders getting planning permission then land banking it and when they started they did not ways sell especially the first big development at Whittingham hospital. This led to the city council being unable to show they had a 5 year land supply and build rate… and losing the appeals in Broughton thus opening the gates for more developments in the rural parishes.

“These are not part of the “plan” so they lack planned school places, shops, health centres and roads and are being developed contrary to the ‘plan’s’ objectives on farm land in the designated Ares of Reoperation and greenbelt.  Until Preston City Council can demonstrate they have caught up and are delivering to target or the NPPF changes come in it is open day for the speculative developers.

We need more houses but why are they (1) not building on the 11 designated brownfield sites in and around Preston? (2) Building on land that is currently farmed when we import significant amounts of or food and will do more when we leave the EU? (3) Building four, five, six houses (4) Not building flats or properties to downsize to? (5) Rentable houses?

The so called ‘affordable’ housing is not affordable by most people starting out on the property ladder as the same issue is coming up with the majority of properties over 300K

“The existing 106 orders are for school places and buses, but the schools in north Preston are all full and the only plans are for ones in Cottam.

“The planned shops are disappearing from the North West Preston plan, as have the GP practices and health centres. The schools are nowhere near being built… the distributor and link roads are not yet started.

The additional sites are not planned for at all… they built Broughton’s bypass to relieve congestion and to take the additional numbers from Whittingham but that did not include the Barton ones.

“Additional sites which are not in the plan include Broughton which has an additional 500 already with PP at Keyfold farm, 126A Whitingham Lane and off Sandy gate Lane. Barton has over 300 – it is in a difficult position as half of the parish is in Preston and half in Wyre and they do not have a plan). Whittingham plus the updated Whittingham Hospital site from 550 to 750 plus additional sites in Goosnargh, Woodplumpton, Catforth, Haighton.

“We don’t need to think about pros and cons about development, we need the City Council and central government to not to allow development until there is adequate infrastructure, affordable housing to mean affordable, build rentable housing, to implement the revised NPPF as soon as possible.”

Read more: Referendum set for Broughton to vote on its future

New houses at Tabley Green

What In Certain Places say:

Professor of Public Art Practice at In Certain Places, Charles Quick, said: “Everybody should have somewhere to live. The built boundaries of cities tend to expand in leaps, as a response to the political and economic drivers of their time. The real debate should be around what sort of homes, communities and developments are being built.

“What will they look like in 20 years’ time? Where are the public transport networks and commuter cycle routes? Are they sustainable, and what facilities are there for new communities, for instance what do the play spaces look like for children and adults? Are there homes being built for everyone, by that I mean not just for the ideal nuclear family? Where will young adults who live on low incomes and at present have to live in shared houses until their late 30s live? How do you meaningfully involve the existing residents in the process of development?

In Certain Places through The Expanded City has been working with artists in City Deal areas for over three years to examine those same issues. Their work has explored, though social interaction and physical mapping, aspects of the places, their relationships with the city centre and the potential implications of planned developments. They are now beginning to present their work, which is, in some cases, providing viable alternate approaches, while others are highlighting areas for further debate.”

New houses on Tabley Green

What Lightfoot Lane Area Residents Association (LLARA) say:

A spokesperson for Lightfoot Lane Area Residents Association (LLARA) said: “LLARA supported the concept of a Masterplan for the area, which included  the provision of new facilities, roads, health provision, schools, drainage and sewerage facilities, leisure and protection and extension of the Guild Wheel.

“So far there is no evidence that any of these will be brought to fruition. We argued that appropriate and essential infrastructure should be put in place before or alongside new developments.

“We were keen to protect the character of Lightfoot Lane, but the Developers have already destroyed character Houses; ancient and healthy oak trees and hedges unnecessarily.

“We now are forced to conclude that the Council have no ability to plan properly for essential infrastructure or to influence their vision contained in the Masterplan.”

Read more: Protest takes place against Goosnargh housing plans

What the Preston City Council says:

Cllr Peter Moss, Cabinet Member for Planning and regulation, said: “Housing is a complex issue for our city. The planning department works hard to balance the housing demands and needs of Preston with the existing and future infrastructure, while keeping the cultural and community needs, employment opportunities and city ambitions in mind.

“Preston has a long history of ‘out-migration’ – working in the city but living in outlying districts. A natural consequence of this is heavier reliance on vehicles, making traffic issues worse. The key is providing enough housing, affordable and otherwise, for the people who don’t just want to work here, but who want to live in Preston.

“In terms of benefits, the housing developments bring with them a New Homes Bonus from Central Government, Community Infrastructure Levy and increases Council Tax income, all of which support local council services and contribute to improvements. Other benefits include an increased offer of affordable homes, new job and apprenticeship opportunities, opportunity to use planning to improve community assets such as recreational facilities, green spaces and schools.

“Overall it also has to be recognised that an increased population naturally supports the local economy, and makes it a more attractive offer to investors and developers, which drives the development of new and improved leisure facilities, shops, businesses and hotels.”

New houses on Old Lightfoot Lane

What the developers say:

Sales Director at Barratt Homes Manchester, Michaela Lancaster, spoke about whether new housing is needed. She said: “Absolutely, after many years of very low delivery in the area the number of new houses is finally increasing as part of the wider City Deal. This means that the new homes are able to cater to the needs of the many house hunters who are looking to buy their own home and set down roots in Preston.”

Are the new houses being bought?

“There has been a significant rise in the number of people looking to move to Preston because of its fantastic links to Manchester and to the South of the country.”

Why was Preston chosen as a place for the development? 

“With demand for housing in Preston on the rise it is a great place for our new developments to be located. Preston has much to offer everyone, with a huge number of parks and open spaces as well as a thriving nightlife and plenty of bars, restaurants and shops, there is something for the whole family. Preston is also an affordable option for those who enjoy the bustling city life but want a larger property outside of Manchester. The commuter links in Preston are also second to none with a good bus and rail services. The M6 makes it’s easy to keep connected with the rest of the country and Manchester airport is not too far for when people are looking to travel further!”

What benefits do the new houses bring? 

“At all the developments in which we build, we contribute a significant amount to the local authorities and area through the Section 106 agreement. This money is then shared throughout the local area and helps to support the local schools, infrastructure and community along with much more.”

New houses on Lightfoot Lane

What do you think about the new housing developments in Preston? Are there too many? Let us know in the comments below

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