A draft masterplan for the Cuerden Strategic Site, which was drawn up by Lancashire County Council, was put forward for public consultation at a special meeting of South Ribble Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday. The six-week consultation will begin on Monday 10 November and end on Friday 19 December.
The masterplan document sets out a vision to create unprecedented levels of high-quality employment on the 65-hectare site, through a mix of commercial, industrial and leisure use. The land is in close proximity to the M65, M6 and M61, as well other major roads and the West Coast Mainline.
The Cuerden Strategic Site is identified under the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. The City Deal is an investment of more than £430 million, which will deliver substantial transport, infrastructure and community improvements, bringing forward three decades of growth over the next ten years.
Agreed between Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and central government, the City Deal will bring economic growth to the area over the next decade. This includes creating thousands of new jobs, building new homes and making improvements across the City Deal area. Any development at Cuerden would also be supported by road improvements under the City Deal, including the widening of the A582 into a dual carriageway, as well as the additional access and highway improvements which would come with the site itself.
South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Strategic Planning and Housing, Councillor Cliff Hughes, said: “I welcome the decision of my colleagues on the Planning Committee to approve the document for consultation. I now urge people to take this golden chance to have their say. We want to work with our businesses and residents to ensure that any development is carried out as appropriately and sensitively as possible.
“The government has set us targets to provide new homes, which brings with it a duty to provide quality employment for our existing communities and the people who will be moving into the area. We recognise that the site has enormous potential to support growth, and I fully appreciate the impact that this hugely important development could have, not just on South Ribble, but on the wider region.
“What’s unique about this draft masterplan is the emphasis on capitalising on the existing open nature of the site, which lies between Cuerden Valley Park and our proposed new Central Park, which in itself presents exciting opportunities to create natural links between the two. The document puts down a real marker for how we want to see the site take shape, which also includes working with Lancashire County Council on the provision of sustainable transport, with cycle routes, pedestrian access and bus stops.”
County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of the County Council, said: “We’re pleased that our draft masterplan has been approved to go out to consultation by South Ribble Borough Council. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve a dynamic and sustainable development that will generate significant economic benefits and create more than 2,500 new jobs in Lancashire.
“We’re now looking forward to hearing from local residents and businesses as part of the consultation.
“It’s just over 12 months since our City Deal was signed. And since then a lot of progress being made on the plans for Cuerden.
“This project has the full support of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and we’re working tirelessly to ensure that we create the ideal conditions for companies to invest and create employment.”
The draft masterplan and other consultation documents are available to view and online feedback forms are available at www.southribble.gov.uk/cuerden
There will be a permanent display at the Civic Centre, in West Paddock, Leyland, throughout the consultation period, with copies of the draft masterplan available to view and response forms to take away. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5.15pm, and 8.30 am to 4.45pm on Fridays.
Three events will be held during the consultation period, where people will be able to look at detailed information and ask questions: