CITY DEAL: '˜New homes are vital to the future of Preston'
Perhaps the most visible aspect of City Deal at present is the multitude of new housing developments dotted around the city region.
The sight of bulldozers and cranes, bricks and tiles may seem commonplace.
But with the expected acceleration of building works over the next few years, views of construction sites - alongside already completed developments - are set to become even more prevalent.
Three years into the £434m masterplan, more than 2,600 homes have been built, one quarter more than had been anticipated by this stage, authorities have revealed.
A further 10,000 have received planning consent, with 17,000 the aspiration for City Deal bosses working in conjunction with counterparts from the Homes and Communities Agency over the next decade.
Jim Carter, chairman of the City Deal, said: “Building good quality housing is an integral part of the City Deal vision, making this a better place to live, creating new job opportunities and bringing new people into the area.
“The aim is to provide a wide range of good quality, affordable homes that are attractive particularly for families, students and professional workers.
“New roads being created as part of City Deal will help people to access new housing sites and get around.
“Where new homes are being built, we’re also creating new green spaces and looking into the need for increased school places, additional health services and much more.”
Areas have been identified in both the city centre - having been designated a national Housing Zone - and satellite sites across the region.
For example, around 3,500 new homes will be built in the North West Preston sector, underpinned by “Garden City” principles, designed to “enhance the natural environment” and support the local community.
A total of 10 house-builders are currently working on the NW site, county hall officers revealed this week.
Other significant sites include Cottam Hall, the former site of Whittingham Hospital and Eastway.
And in South Ribble, a number of smaller sites have either started the construction phase or are poised to start including in Penwortham, Lostock Hall and Worden Park.
The acceleration expected over the next few years represents the confidence investors and developers have in the City Deal, according to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
Representatives are also confident a mix of housing will be provided to cater for renters, buyers and both the social and private market.
The housing drive will be supported with highway infrastructure, employment space and jobs.
This will be complemented with more schools, health units and leisure facilities, funded in part through section 106 agreements from the housing developers.
Mr Carter added: “We have to ensure that we have the right provision in place for these communities as they develop.
“Building new homes for families and future generations is key to Preston’s future success.”