Mixed responses to master plan proposal

FUTURE PROPOSALS: Coun John Swindells with the plans for Preston. below, Coun Bill Shannon and Coun Ken Hudson
FUTURE PROPOSALS: Coun John Swindells with the plans for Preston. below, Coun Bill Shannon and Coun Ken Hudson
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Proposals for the future development of north west Preston have so far received mixed reviews.

A draft master plan was published this week, setting out a vision for a “garden city”, including up to 5,300 homes, new schools and a new park.

Coun Bill Shannon

Coun Bill Shannon

But the document has been met with concerns from councillors in affected wards, who said they were worried the infrastructure would not be in place before the first homes.

Ingol councillor Bill Shannon, leader of the Liberal Democrats group, said: “It is absolutely essential that we have a master plan and we get it in place as soon as possible.

“We are fully supportive of the master plan but we’ve got to get it right, and there are one or two tweaks we need to make.”

Coun Shannon said he was concerned that the construction of the east west link road was not scheduled until phase two of the proposals, with the implementation of existing planning consents proposed for phase one.

Ken Hudson

Ken Hudson

He also said he thought the former Tulketh High School should be reopened, instead of a new secondary school being built.

He said: “It’s about getting it right. Once we’ve accepted this then we must defend it absolutely at all costs against developers.

“My main concern is about the phasing - it’s getting that infrastructure in at the same time or before the housing.”

The draft master plan, which also includes energy efficient homes, a health centre and walking and cycling routes, will now be subject to formal consultation before it is considered for adoption by council bosses.

Coun Ken Hudson, Preston Rural North councillor, said he was concerned a lack of infrastructure could cause “traffic chaos”.

He said: “Basically, the failure of the master plan is that the roads are not in phase one.”

He added: “Quite frankly, I didn’t want all this development in my patch.

“And then to give us any development without the traffic measures being in place, then that’s the thing that wasn’t made clear at the start.”

Coun Hudson said: “How is it going to fit in with the local community? They don’t want all these houses and they certainly don’t want all the construction traffic.”

The north west Preston area is around Broughton, Cottam, Fulwood, Ingol and Tanterton and Woodplumpton. Formal consultation on the draft will run from January 20 until February 14.