Planning Together For
Central Lancashire is a name coined by Preston City Council and the two adjoining authorities of South Ribble Borough Council and Chorley Borough Council.
The term Central Lancashire has been used for a long time and a joint approach to planning also goes back many years. The Central Lancashire New Town was designated in the early 1970s based on the existing towns of Preston, Leyland and Chorley. The Development Corporation lasted until 1986, but well before then the original expansion plans had been scaled back and although the next twenty years has seen some completion of New Town proposals other sites remain undeveloped.
Joint working between Chorley and South Ribble Councils has been occurring more recently – guiding the redevelopment of a Royal Ordnance site that straddles the local authorities’ common boundary. The emerging new settlement – Buckshaw Village - is a mixed use urban village which could ultimately have 3500 dwellings and 8500 jobs. The three Councils are working together in other ways including through shared services, one example of which is South Ribble and Preston have recently combined their Building Control functions.
The Northern Way identified eight City Regions. The Central Lancashire City Region is one of three in the north west of England along with Liverpool and Manchester. However it is a broader concept than these two major cities, encompassing most of Lancashire including Blackpool, Blackburn and Burnley as well as ‘Greater Preston’. The latter is the term that groups Preston, South Ribble and Chorley in the Regional Spatial Strategy for North West England.
Independent research sponsored by the Government Office for the North West shows that the three authorities comprise a single housing market area. The new impetus for joint working originally came out of the belief that the three Council areas comprise a single integrated local economy. Research findings confirmed this to be the case and that this ‘core area’ of the City Region has the best prospects for growth, making it integral to fulfilling the Northern Way’s aim of closing the output gap with South East England.
In terms of Local Development Framework preparation, the three authorities originally set off independently. However, the experience of jointly producing the sub-regional economic regeneration strategy, which convincingly proved that the combined area performs the role of one travel to work area, showed up the need to share expertise efficiently and to work together in a more unified and coherent way.
A joint LDF team was established in April 2008 and consists of a team cordinator and officers from each Council, as well as support from the County. The team is responsible for producing the joint Core Strategy and assisting with Site Allocations work.
A Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) has also been establised to provide advice on the development of the Preferred Core Strategy. The JAC is made up of 3 Councillors from Preston, South Ribble and Chorley, and one County Councillor who meet as required.
The minutes of the Joint Advisory Committee meetings can be found here.You can also access the minutes of Preston, Chorley and South Ribble Cabinet Meetings by clicking on the appropriate link.