‘Garden city’ blueprint unveiled

Garden city: A view of how North West Preston could look
Garden city: A view of how North West Preston could look

Tree-lined streets, a new park and more than 5,000 homes are part of the vision revealed for the future of north west Preston, which includes Broughton and Woodplumpton.

A draft master plan, setting out the development of the new “garden city” has now been published. The proposals reveal that up to 5,300 homes could be built in the 
area in the next 20 years.

New roads, including a new motorway junction, two new primary schools, a secondary school, a health centre and walking and cycling routes also feature in the draft plan.

The document will now be subject to formal consultation, before it is considered for adoption by council bosses.

Preston City Council planning officer Chris Hayward said: “We want to end up with a quality development and that is the key message.

“It is going to last for generations once it is built – that’s one of the reasons for producing the master plan. It is to ensure we are producing sustainable development, which means we’ve got the right 
infrastructure in place to 
support the development, and that it is co-ordinated.

“A big issue for the community is the impact of the development on the road network and congestion that could arise.

“There has been a full transport assessment carried out of part of this work, and there is a phasing plan proposed.

“A significant amount of development can come forward in the short term, before roads are built.”

The phasing plan proposes the implementation of existing planning consents from 2014, and construction of the East West Link is expected by 2016.

Mr Hayward said the City Deal meant there was “greater certainty” attached to the new roads, meaning they would be built in the early stages of the 20 to 25-year development.

It is also hoped that the Preston Western Distributor road will be opened by 2019.

The draft master plan was prepared by URS consultants on behalf of the city council and Lancashire County Council, following extensive consultation.

Alan Houghton, of URS, said: “We have given our best professional opinion as to how best to create a garden village type development around north west Preston.

“When we were consulting with the residents, we were getting strong feedback which was supportive of the garden city principle, so we think we’ve got support from residents.

The north west Preston area is around Broughton, Cottam, Fulwood, Ingol and Tanterton and Woodplumpton.

The 44-page draft master plan document sets out the “vision statement” for the area. It says: “The master plan seeks to encourage and steer the development of sustainable, resilient and healthy communities which can accommodate future economic, demographic and environmental needs.”

The document also sets out proposals for energy efficient homes, and 30 per cent of the new homes built will be “affordable”.

Coun John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston City Council, said: “This is about building long lasting and sustainable communities, not just houses.

“North West Preston is a key site for future development. It’s a desirable place to live and developers are keen to build there, so we have to strike the right balance 
between allowing new homes to be built and meeting the needs of the people who will live there. Transport, health, education and access to green space all have to be factored in.

“The draft master plan does this and it’s ‘garden city’ vision is a very interesting and exciting concept. It would provide for new strong, prosperous and well connected communities – all whilst allowing Preston to grow and boost the local economy.

“The draft master plan will be out for formal consultation from January 20 and we would like to hear from people as to whether the master plan is indeed the right one for the area.”