New Deal details emerge

Flensburg Way, Leyland
Flensburg Way, Leyland
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New dual carriageways, education and health facilities, plus town centre improvements are envisaged for Leyland over the next 11 years to help bring forward huge housing developments in the area.

Details have emerged of South Ribble’s City Deal proposal, which shows roads including Flensburg Way, Penwortham Way and Farington Road could become duel carriageways to cope with extra traffic, as thousands of new houses are built in the borough.

The City Deal, a joint venture between South Ribble Council, Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council, will also help bring forward major housing developments in Leyland, including Altcar Lane (430 homes), Heatherleigh (800) and the Moss Side Test Track (850).

It is hoped work can start on the three main roads, near the Centurion Tank and the household waste centre, as well as Penwortham Bypass, as early as next year.

Phase one (2014 to 2017) will also see development start at Heatherleigh and Pickerings Farm, in Penwortham.

In phase two (2017 to 2020) the A582 duel carriageway of Flensburg Way and Penwortham Way should be complete, while work will continue on Farington Road and the Penwortham Bypass.

By 2020 11,000 houses are expected to have been built across Heatherleigh and Pickerings Farm, and development is set to start on the Test Track and Altcar Lane.

The final phase (2020 to 2024) will see all the work completed. It is envisaged a new bridge can then be built over the Ribble to cope with the extra traffic.

By then, it is claimed, almost 4,000 jobs will have been created at Cuerden Strategic Site and the Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury and Warton.

The focus of the City Deal is to gain Government support and funding for infrastructure improvements, the need for which has already been established through South Ribble’s Local Development Framework (LDF) and Lancashire County Council’s Transport and Highways Masterplan.

At a South Ribble Council meeting last week, director of planning and housing John Dalton said it had been anticipated the government would sign Preston and South Ribble’s City Deal – one of 20 deals put forward nationally – before the summer recess.

He said there could possibly be an announcement over the summer, but it was more likely to be in September.

Leyland councillor Donald Harrison raised concerns that developers are jumping the gun: “Land buyers have been hunting around Preston and South Ribble for the last three months looking for land to buy up, even though a decision is yet to be made in London.”

South Ribble Council leader Coun Margaret Smith, replied: “I would like to emphasise that land put forward for development in the City Deal is only what has already been earmarked in the LDF.

“All this does is accelerate that land coming forward for development, because the infrastructure will be in place.

“If developers are going round buying up land that is at their own risk.”

As well as outlining what work needs doing on the road networks to support developments of this scale, the City Deal also reports there will be a need for community infrastructure, such as education and health facilities, open spaces and town and district centre improvements in Leyland, Penwortham and Tardy Gate.

- What do YOU think about the plans? Email your views to kay.taylor@lep.co.uk