Council to discuss masterplan responses

Future vision: Coun John Swindells with the plans for the North-West of Preston
Future vision: Coun John Swindells with the plans for the North-West of Preston
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A vision for the future of north west Preston is due to move a step closer today.

Tree lined streets, a new park and more than 5,000 homes were part of the draft masterplan published last month and put out to consultation.

Now responses to the “garden city” proposals have been gathered, and Preston Council’s cabinet is this evening set to recommend to adopt the masterplan “as planning guidance”.

The masterplan is eventually then expected to be adopted as a blueprint for development for the area.

Coun John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said the document would allow the council more influence on decisions to tackle a “free for all” of applications.

He said: “This is the first stage of getting some protection of what we wish to see in the area.

“This is a supplementary planning document, and it does give some influence, especially where everyone agrees such as the route of the roads or the type of housing.

“The strongest protection is the development planning document, and this is a step on the way to that.

“It is needed because it is really a free for all at the moment. Anybody can put any application in and we have little influence without any document in place.”

The report to councillors said 82 separate responses had been received, and summarised the main issues raised before then addressing them in turn.

It said issues included the development of roads, the provision of infrastructure, the provision of local centres and retail activity within the area, and green infrastructure.

Also raised were issues about the effect of the development on existing residents, design and open space provision.

The report addressed suggestions raised including references made to Tulketh High School as a possible alternative to the proposed new secondary school.

A new secondary school is currently in phase two of the proposal, and the report said: “Tulketh High School is closed now and whether it should be retained in abeyance until such time as it might be needed is a matter for the County Council as the Local Education Authority.

“It is, however, an option that should be discussed further.”