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Vision for Preston

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The strategy explains that Preston will attract investors and visitors taking advantage of retail, heritage, education and a high quality city centre. It will have become a transformed city, recognised as an alternative to Manchester and Liverpool for high quality retail, cultural, entertainment, business and higher education.

The character of Preston's city centre, neighbourhoods and villages will reflect their individual historic and cultural heritage, with high quality designed new buildings enhancing local distinctiveness. There will be improved transport connections within Central Lancashire and to wider regional and national destinations.

The character of rural villages will have been maintained, with access to services to sustain the local communities and overcome rural poverty.

Neighbourhoods will be safe, clean and sustainable with healthy, highly skilled and diverse communities. Residents will have easy access to public services, good jobs and decent, high quality affordable homes.

Energy use will be minimised with an emphasis on sustainable sources, including mitigation measures and where possible, adaptation to climate change. The City's green spaces and access to open countryside makes Preston a city with room to breathe.

For more information on Preston's vision visit Invest Preston - vision and strategic priorities

The Council's approach

When considering development proposals the Council will take a positive approach in favour of sustainable development contained within the framework.

The Council will work with applicants together to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible. Especially if this improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.

Planning applications that meet the policies in this Local Plan (and where relevant, policies in neighbourhood plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Where there are no statutory development plan policies relevant to the application or are out of date at the time of making the decision, then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise, taking into account whether:

  • any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole and those contained in the Core Strategy; or
  • specific policies in the Framework and Core Strategy indicate that development should be restricted.

Locating Growth in Preston

In order to ensure growth and investment takes place in the most sustainable locations, the Core Strategy sets out a hierarchy of settlement types and priority locations.

Each tier of the hierarchy will see an appropriate level of development occurring in order to achieve sustainable growth.

Locating Growth identifies the hierarchy of settlements in Central Lancashire where growth and investment will be concentrated. The Preston and South Ribble Urban Area will be the main focus for growth and investment including the following strategic sites.

Strategic Sites

Cottam is a strategic site where growth and investment will be focussed. The site comprises mostly greenfield land to the north west of Preston's City Centre, referred to as Cottam Hall, as well as the derelict urban brownfield Cottam Brickworks site.

Development at Cottam Hall is partially built out and a masterplan has been prepared for the remainder of the land by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) following a period of community engagement.

This masterplan forms part of the outline planning permission for the development of up to 1100 dwellings and associated community facilities approved in March 2013.

Planning permission has been granted on the Cottam Brickworks site for a mix of uses including retail, residential and employment. It is anticipated that around 1,300 homes could be provided across the Brickworks and Cottam Hall sites.

Strategic Locations

Strategic locations in Preston, include:

  • Central Preston - including the City Centre
  • The Central Business District (CBD) 
  • Inner East Preston

The Central Business District (CBD) is expected to provide high quality modern office development and a range of complementary uses. Allied to the CBD proposals is the continued expansion of the University of Central Lancashire, including the expansion of knowledge based employment sectors within Central Preston.

North West Preston, is defined in the Core Strategy as "a broad sweep of greenfield land south of the M55. Stretching from west of the Cottam area eastwards to the areas known as Bartle (east of Sandy Lane, north of Hoyles Lane / Lightfoot Lane, south of the M55) and extending east of the A6 to incorporate land north of Eastway / south of the M55.

The strategic location is complementary to the strategic site at Cottam and will provide 5,200 dwellings overall of which approximately 2,363 dwellings will be delivered over the plan period.

The Council has approved a Masterplan for North West Preston, which will be adopted as a Local Development Document in due course.

Key Service Centres

Key Service Centres provide a range of services including retail, leisure, community, civic, health, education and financial and professional services for the surrounding areas.

They have good public transport links to surrounding towns and villages, or have the potential for their development and enhancement.

Development in rural areas should be concentrated in Key Service Centres, and should be of a scale and nature appropriate to fulfil the needs of local communities for housing, employment and services, and to enhance the quality of rural life.

The town of Longridge is situated in the Ribble Valley, just outside the Preston administrative boundary. However the Core Strategy identifies Longridge as a Key Service Centre, where land within Central Lancashire may be required to support the town's role and function.

In other places

Outside of the areas already identified, Preston has a number of smaller villages and substantially built up frontages.

In the interest of sustainable development, growth and investment in such places will be confined to small scale infill, conversion of buildings and proposals to meet local need, unless there are exceptional reasons for large scale redevelopment schemes.

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