Work on a new satellite village is finally set to start after a 15-year campaign to create a thriving self-contained community on the outskirts of Preston.
Developers have revealed a long-running planning wrangle over access to land in Cottam has been settled.
Now an £80m scheme can get under way to turn a derelict brickworks site into the hub for more than 5,000 homes due to be built in the North West of the city over the next few years.
The plan is to provide a supermarket, shops, offices, a marina and a pub/restaurant to act as a village centre for the huge “garden city” development in Cottam, Ingol, Lea and Fulwood.
When complete, the hub could create as many as 700 jobs.
“Shops and amenities are sorely missing from this part of Preston,” said Ian Rankin, director of developers Cottam Hall Properties.
“For people living in the neighbouring Cottam, Ingol and Tanterton areas, the trip to a supermarket is inconvenient and, for some, costly.
“For them, a shopping centre at the brickworks can’t come soon enough.”
Coun Christine Abram, who lives close to the site, declared: “This is fantastic. I’m absolutely delighted it’s now all systems go.
“I’ve been supporting something like this for this part of Preston since around 1999.
“The final sticking point was getting access to the site, which required agreement by the county council. It seems that has finally been settled after a long, drawn out process.
“Now the developers have got access to the old brickworks site they can get in there and start things moving. It’s very exciting after such a long slog. It will be good for Cottam and for jobs in the local area.”
Preston aims to provide thousands more homes as the city grows. The bulk of the building will be in the North-West and North on land sandwiched between the M55 and Fulwood, Ingol and Cottam.
Ian Rankin added: “In the years 2012 and 2013 alone planning permission was granted for almost 2,000 new homes in Cottam. This equates to a community the size of Longridge added to the current population, which is already very much in need of local shops and amenities.
“Many of these new homes will have been built by the time the centre starts trading. In succeeding years a further 5,000 homes will be added.
“While the size of the population would suggest a demand for a range of retailers, the site itself is large enough to accommodate a number of complementary retailers along with cafes and smaller shops.”