Preston, South Ribble and Chorley’s councils are closer to adopting a combined Local Plan, as officers progress towards a preferred options consultation this summer.
A report that will go before the Central Lancashire Strategic Planning Joint Advisory Committee on 25 January outlines progress since the completion of a stage one issues and options consultation, which ran from November 2019 to February 2020.
A total of 1,616 responses were recorded for the issues and options consultation, with 912 people signing into various drop-in sessions.
The intention of the local authorities is that the plan will replace the Central Lancashire Core Strategy of 2012 and the Local Plans each of the three adopted in 2015.
One of the main issues brought up in consultation was that the vision and objectives aspect of the plan was not reflective of the needs of the area, with voiced concerns including the protection of Green Belt and over-development, while more focus on the economic ambitions of the combined area was requested.
In all, 76% of respondents answered in the negative to the question “Will the Vision and Objectives deliver the Central Lancashire you want to see?”
An updated vision and objectives are currently being worked up to present to the Local Plan working group in spring.
Since the initial consultation, all three councils have completed or nearly completed their respective initial reviews of additional sites required as the authorities seek to establish a five-year housing supply across all three boroughs.
The Central team is now undertaking a detailed assessment of these sites as it looks at their suitability for allocation. The intention is to then appoint a consultancy to assess the viability of the proposed Local Plan.
Consultation on the preferred options document is timetabled to run between June and August this year, with a draft plan to be published in late 2022. With submission pencilled in for March 2023, the aim is for the Local Plan to be adopted from that December.