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CPRE response to the Central Lancashire Preferred Option Local Plan

Leanne Dempsey
By Leanne Dempsey
7th March 2023

CPRE responds to the Central Lancashire Local Plan’s Preferred Options Consultation.

Central Lancashire councils of Preston, South Ribble, and Chorley have joined forces to produce a Local Plan. The Plan goes through several public consultations before finally coming into force in 2026 with designated housing sites, employment sites, and landscape policies for these three regions.

In the recent Central Lancashire Preferred Option Local Plan consultation, CPRE responded with an overall objection.

Why an objection?

Although we support a plan-led approach, this current draft Local Plan estimates far more jobs and houses than is reasonably necessary.

This is due to flawed assumptions on very high growth and use of out-of-date data. The Government requires the use of ONS 2014 population predictions. They were predictions of a population which had not experienced Brexit, a pandemic, Ukraine war… the list goes on. Those predictions forecast a larger population and more immigration than is now the case. The Government proposes to revise the statistics on which housing requirements are based. Until then, housing requirements are over-estimated across our region.

In addition, the timescale for the plan is double what it needs to be, which is 15 years minimum.

Is Lancashire countryside at risk?

Overestimating housing requirements means too many housing sites proposed in this draft Local Plan. This leads to rural villages being vulnerable to large Green Belt incursions from speculative developments.

Also, there is an unsustainable proposal for a Garden Village, which would urbanise the rural settlements of Samlesbury and Cuerdale.  It is twice the scale of its current speculative development application, which due to the scale of objections is, at the moment, the subject of a holding decision not to support.


Working together for a better plan

CPRE is working with the Samlesbury and Cuerdale Parish Council to prevent the ‘needless’ urbanisation of this rural area.  Central Lancashire has plenty of brownfield sites that are more centrally located near to jobs and other facilities and better served by public transport. Brownfield is the term for previously used land. This is more sustainable, allowing for housing and employment needs without compromising green belt or greenfield sites.


Find out more

You can learn more about the consultations on the Central Lancashire Local Plan website. Check out their timetables to see if, when, and where you can have your say on proposed sites and policies.

You can also read more about CPRE Lancashire’s work with the Samlesbury and Cuerdale Parish council to protect Green Belt here: ‘Cuerdale Garden Village: CPRE’s View’

You can read CPRE’s written response to the Local Plan team here:

2023 Feb 23 CPRE response to Central Lancashire Preferred Option Local Plan

Samlesbury Hall Central Lancashire
Samlesbury Hall Leanne Dempsey