The Core Strategy was prepared jointly by Preston City Council, Chorley Council and South Ribble Council and was adopted in July 2012. 

The purpose of the Core Strategy

The purpose of the Core Strategy is to set the overall strategic direction for planning the area over the period 2010 to 2026, in line with national policies.

A key part of that direction is establishing where major development and other forms of investment should be located so as to be sustainable, meet local needs and take full advantage of opportunities.

Identification of sites where specific proposals and policies will apply are presented in the Local Plan and City Centre area action plan for Preston.

The adopted Core Strategy PDF documents are brokendown into three parts, due to the size of documents, you can download these documents below:

Central Lancashire Core Strategy Affordable Housing Policy Note - December 2018

  1. This note has been prepared by the Central Lancashire Authorities (Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Chorley Council). In order to provide clarification on the interpretation of Central Lancashire Core Strategy Policy 7 following the publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework in July 2018.
  2. Central Lancashire Core Strategy Policy 7 is the statutory development plan policy relating to affordable housing in Central Lancashire. The district level Local Plans do not contain policies on affordable housing.

Policy 7 - Affordable and Special Needs Housing

Enable sufficient provision of affordable and special housing to meet needs in the following ways:

  • a) - Subject to such site and development considerations as financial viability and contributions to community services, to achieve a target from market housing schemes of 30% in the urban parts of Preston, South Ribble and Chorley. 35% in rural areas on sites in or adjoining villages which have, or will have, a suitable range of services; on any rural exception sites including those in the Green Belt there will be a requirement of 100%.
  • b) - Aside from rural exception sites the minimum site size threshold will be 15 dwellings (0.5 hectares or part thereof) but a lower threshold of 5 dwellings (0.15 hectares or part thereof) is required in rural areas.
  • c) - Where robustly justified, off-site provision or financial contributions of a broadly equivalent value instead of on-site provision will be acceptable where the site or location is unsustainable for affordable or special housing.
  • d) - Special needs housing including extra care accommodation will be required to be well located in communities in terms of reducing the need to travel to care and other service provision and a proportion of these properties will be sought to be affordable subject to such site and development considerations as financial viability and contributions to community services.
  • e) - Special needs housing including extra care accommodation will be required to be well located in communities in terms of reducing the need to travel to care and other service provision and a proportion of these properties will be required to be affordable.
  • f) - An accompanying Supplementary Planning Document will establish the following:
    • i. The cost at and below which housing is considered to be affordable.
    • ii. The proportions of socially rented and shared ownership housing that will typically be sought across Central Lancashire.
    • iii. Specific spatial variations in the level and types of affordable housing need in particular localities.
    • iv. How the prevailing market conditions will affect what and how much affordable housing will be sought.

3. Part B of Policy 7

'Aside from rural exception sites the minimum site size threshold will be 15 dwellings (0.5 hectares or part thereof) but a lower threshold of 5 dwellings (0.15 hectares or part thereof) is required in rural areas.'

4. Since adoption of the Central Lancashire Core Strategy, the Central Lancashire Authorities have collectively interpreted this aspect of the policy as applying a lower threshold of 5 dwellings to developments outside of the Preston urban area in Preston. Outside of the key service centre of Leyland and main urban areas in South Ribble, and, Chorley Town, the Buckshaw Village Strategic Site and the Urban Local Service Centres in Chorley.

5. In May 2016, following a successful Court of Appeal Judgement, the Government re-introduced revisions to National Planning Practice Guidance originally set out in a Written Ministerial Statement dated November 2014.

The Written Ministerial Statement

The Written Ministerial Statement provided restrictions on developer contributions as follows.

'Due to the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on small scale developers, for sites of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of 1,000 square metres, affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought'.

6. This approach highlighted a partial conflict with Policy 7(b) and prevented the Central Lancashire Authorities requiring affordable housing contributions from developments of 10 units or less unless the gross floorspace proposed exceeded 1,000 square metres. As a result, from May 2016, developments proposed in rural areas in Preston and South Ribble were only bound by the provisions of Policy 7 if they proposed over 10 units or if they proposed over 1,000 square metres of residential floorspace.

7. In Chorley the provisions of Policy 7 continued to be applied to developments of 5 or more dwellings in rural areas following Member approval, as it was considered that the borough wide need for affordable housing outweighed the guidance set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance.

The revised National Planning Policy Framework

8. The revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July 2018, includes provisions which now fundamentally conflict with Policy 7(b), to the point where the Central Lancashire Authorities consider this part of the Policy to be redundant. Paragraph 63 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework states:

'Provision of affordable housing should not be sought for residential developments that are not major developments, other than in designated rural areas (where policies may set out a lower threshold of 5 units or fewer)'.

9. The glossary to the National Planning Policy Framework (Annex 2) defines 'major development' in terms of housing, as development proposing 10 or more homes or where a site area is of 0.5 hectares or more.

10. The National Planning Practice Guidance defines 'designated rural areas' as those prescribed under Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 . The Central Lancashire area contains no such designations.

11. As such it therefore follows that a direct conflict exists between Policy 7(b) and the National Planning Policy Framework. On this basis, the recently published National Planning Policy Framework takes precedence and the Central Lancashire Authorities hereby collectively agree to not implement the lower threshold contained in Policy 7(b) to housing developments proposed in the areas defined in Paragraph 4 (above). For the avoidance of doubt, the section of Policy 7(b) which will no longer be implemented is highlighted bold below:

'(b) Aside from rural exception sites the minimum site size threshold will be 15 dwellings (0.5 hectares or part thereof) but a lower threshold of 5 dwellings (0.15 hectares or part thereof) is required in rural areas.'

12. Proposals for housing development in the areas defined in Paragraph 4 (above) will now, from an affordable housing perspective, be assessed with reference to Paragraph 63 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

13. This approach will continue to be implemented until adoption of a new affordable housing policy or until further changes are made to national policy and guidance.

14. No other parts of Policy 7 are impacted by this altered approach.

Updated Policy Position

Affordable housing contributions will not be sought for developments incorporating less than 10 dwellings, or with a site area of less than 0.5 hectares, within the rural areas of Central Lancashire.

Affordable housing contributions will continue to be sought for developments incorporating 10 dwellings or more, or with a site area of 0.5 hectares or more, within the rural areas of Central Lancashire. In these circumstances the level of provision sought will be equivalent to 35% of the total number of dwellings proposed, in accordance with Policy 7(a).