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Exciting plans for The Harris

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Areas for Development

An icon of a crane and house

In accordance with Central Lancashire Core Strategy Policy 1, and to deliver economic growth, sufficient levels of new housing, vital infrastructure and sustainable development, planning permission, will, in principle, be granted for a comprehensive scheme of development for a range of appropriate uses within:

  • Cottam Strategic Site (Allocation MD1)
  • North West Preston Strategic Location (Allocation MD2)

Due to the size and importance of these sites, a comprehensive approach will be adopted that sets out the infrastructure needs and delivery mechanisms for the whole sites and considers the relationship to existing communities.

Cottam - Allocation MD1

Cottam is identified in the Central Lancashire Core Strategy as a Strategic Site for development.

Strategic Sites are defined as being central to the achievement of the Core Strategy.

The site comprises mostly greenfield land, north-west of the city centre, as well as the derelict urban brownfield Cottam Brickworks site. The brickworks site is a significant bio-diversity resource and is identified as a Biological Heritage Site.

The greenfield land - known as Cottam Hall is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and forms part of a larger Central Lancashire New Town urban extension that commenced in the 1980s but is only about half complete.

Interim Planning Statement

The City Council has adopted an Interim Planning Statement to support the redevelopment of the rest of the site - the former Brickworks - for a mixture of uses, including retail, residential and employment.

It is anticipated that approximately 1,300 homes will be delivered across the two sites.

The delivery of the Cottam site is central to the delivery of both the Central Lancashire Core Strategy and this Plan. This includes both the Cottam Hall greenfield site west of Tom Benson Way, and the previously developed former Brickworks site east of Tom Benson Way.

The majority of new homes will be delivered on the Cottam Hall site (circa 1,100), these proposals comprise an outline planning application approved by the Council in 2012.

The former Brickworks site currently benefits from planning permission. The main aspects of this approval include a new supermarket, up to 206 new houses and some employment floorspace. The range and mixture of uses proposed on this site enhance the delivery of the adjacent Cottam Hall site by addressing sustainability deficiencies in the area, such as proximity to a food store and employment provision. The former brickworks is identified as the location for a new district centre.

In addition to the above sustainability considerations, a number of key infrastructure improvements have been identified. These include a new primary school, an extension to an existing health centre along with significant improvements to the road network with greatly enhanced bus service provision - possibly a rapid transit system to the city centre.

Accordingly the HCA has agreed to make extensive contributions totalling over £9 million (not including affordable housing) towards new transport and healthcare infrastructure to serve the new development. A link road is to be built between Cottam Hall and the proposed Western Distributor Road. This will facilitate access to the proposed new railway station, which will increase the overall accessibility of the site. Given the significant infrastructure requirements associated with the site, a key consideration moving forward will be protecting the viability of development.

The vision for Cottam Hall

The vision for Cottam Hall is for a high quality, landscape focussed environment, embracing the rural feel of Cottam Hall with well designed, energy efficient homes and excellent access to local facilities.

Cottam Hall will be an integrated sustainable environment. A key aim will be to create a community that reflects the needs of all residents, old and young, families, young couples and single people, as well as completing the neighbourhood of Cottam Hall.

Despite the advanced nature of proposals on the site, and the excellent working relationship that exists between the City Council and HCA, it is necessary, specifically in the event of the current permissions not coming forward, to establish the Council's vision and requirements for development of the site.

North West Preston - Allocation MD2

The Core Strategy identifies North West Preston as a Strategic Location for development. North West Preston can be described as a broad sweep of greenfield land south of the M55 stretching from the Cottam site to the west to land north of Eastway/south of the M55 to the east.

The location provides a rounding off of the urban form of Preston, with a clearly defined boundary of the M55 to the north and the M6 to the east. It covers an area of around 320 hectares.

There are significant highway infrastructure constraints to development of this strategic location, which will need to be addressed throughout the plan period to ensure the location is
deliverable.

Ultimately, the Strategic Location as identified on the Policies Map has the capacity to accommodate approximately 5,300 homes, assuming an average density of 30 dwellings
per hectare on the net developable area of about 177 hectares.

North West Preston Master plan

Development of the scale envisaged requires careful planning and co-ordination, particularly in the light of the highway and other infrastructure requirements and the number of different land owners and developers involved in the area.

The City Council with Lancashire County Council and the Homes and Communities Agency therefore commissioned the preparation of a detailed masterplan for North West Preston in April 2013.

The boundary of the Masterplan area is the same as that shown on the Policies Map as subject to policy MD2.

The Master plan provides a comprehensive framework to guide the future development of North West Preston. It provides a clear understanding of the necessary infrastructure and phasing to serve such large scale proposals. The master plan advocates Garden City design principles including the provision of appropriate 'community' centres where services such as shops, health and education will be located.

An East-West Link Road will be the primary transport distributor. It will be the main bus route and will also provide for cyclists and pedestrians. The master plan recognises the need for well-designed green infrastructure to meet the recreational needs of the new community, as well as protecting and enhancing bio-diversity.

North West Preston main local centre

Residential development of the scale envisaged in the North West Preston Strategic Location will need to be accompanied by local centres. It is envisaged that there will be a "main" local centre.

This main centre, which will include a mix of uses including health and community based services as well as retail outlets, will be supported by smaller neighbourhood centres. None of these centres will be of a scale that exceeds "Local Centre" in the retail hierarchy.

The absence of such facilities could create issues related to social isolation, promoting unsustainable patterns of development within the Strategic Location.

The North West Preston Master plan provides more detail on the type of facilities likely to be required and indicative sustainable locations given the likely distribution of population within the area.

The Master plan approved

The Council approved the Master plan as guidance in February 2014. However, further consultation will be carried out prior to its adoption as a Local Development Document to be read with policy MD2.

The multiplicity of private landownerships and developer interests in North West Preston will be affected in different ways by infrastructure provision, including community land uses. The Council accepts the costs of such infrastructure will need to be borne both viably and equitably and will work with developers to ensure this.

The Council will prepare guidance and identify a number of options, including through the City Deal programme, to help reduce developer costs on those sites where there is evidence that development is unviable.

Local Development Document

Drawing on the master plan, the design, layout and indicative phasing of the development will be set out in the proposed Local Development Document. That document will consider the distribution of key infrastructure to ensure the viability and deliverability of the proposed development and set out a mechanism to ensure that in so far as is practicable, the infrastructure costs associated with the development are borne equally.

If it can be proven that the delivery of any one parcel would be impacted negatively due to the requirements to provide infrastructure or land for infrastructure, the Council will reduce the S106 requirements on that parcel.

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