Area set for grand makeover after 4,000 homes plan passed

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A masterplan for 4,000 homes and more employment sites in South Ribble has been given the green light.

The final draft of the Local Development Framework (LDF), which sets out potential developments across the borough for the next 15 years, was rubberstamped at a council meeting last night.

South Ribble’s cabinet gave the plans the seal of approval, which could see major plots of land being transformed into housing estates, office blocks, shops and leisure facilities.

Coun Michael Green, speaking at the civic centre meeting, said it was a big step forward for the area.

He said: “South Ribble is ahead of other districts in Lancashire and beyond.”

The council is now set to go out for a final six-week round of public consultation, starting next month, with a view to passing the plans over to the Government in October.

The proposals will be considered by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in January 2013, with a view to them being adopted next April.

Coun Cliff Hughes, cabinet member for strategic planning and housing, also announced that South Ribble’s Core Strategy had been approved by the planning inspectorate.

He said: “This is a major breakthrough in protecting our planning laws.

“We’ve waited a long time for this, and there is now light at the end of the tunnel.”

- For more on this story, see next week’s Guardian.