Start date for Leyland test track development

Work is set to start within weeks on the redevelopment of the disused Leyland test track site.

Construction of the first phase of housing and accompanying infrastructure is expected to begin in April, after the acquisition of the 40 hectare plot was completed.

The Leyland test track, which will eventually be home to 950 new properties

The Leyland test track, which will eventually be home to 950 new properties

Outline planning permission was granted last October for up to 950 new homes and 28,000 square metres of office and light industrial space - with full approval given for an initial wave of 197 properties.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that the entire development is expected to take just over a decade to complete.

Barratt Homes will build and market the housing, while lead developer Property Capital PLC will retain responsibility for the employment space and promised community facilities - which include a new primary school, to be built at a time decided by Lancashire County Council.

Improvements to the surrounding road network also formed part of the permission. Set to be implemented in the coming years, these include upgrades to several junctions which are expected to be affected by traffic from the new development.

The planned measures will focus on improving vehicle manoeuvrability, traffic flow and pedestrian safety at the so-called ‘Tiger Junction’, where Longmeanygate meets Golden Hill Lane and Leyland Lane; the roundabout at Comet Road, Flensburg Way and Schleswig Way; the traffic light junction of Schleswig Way and Dunkirk Lane; and the mini-roundabout at Broadfield Drive. A weight restriction will also be introduced on Midge Hall Lane.

Funding for a bus service for the site has also been guaranteed for five years.

South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the development after demanding that more affordable homes be included. Initially, the applicants had said the site would only be sustainable with a 10 percent affordable quota - but they later agreed to satisfy the council’s usual requirement of 30 percent, equating to 285 properties.

The Midge Hall Community Group (MHCG) was credited by committee members with helping to secure other improvements to the site. Its members said they had always understood that the land would be developed – but had refused to accept what was originally on offer.

The concessions and additions which the group secured included traffic-calming measures and a comprehensive network of green corridors running through the site.

Two-and-a-half miles of shared-use paths, suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and the local horse-riding community, are now a prominent feature of the plans.

Richard Lever, land and planning director for Property Capital, said: “We are currently working up detailed plans for the employment land to try to bring this forward quickly to deliver on our promises of creating new jobs.

“Property Capital has worked tirelessly with its team of external consultants to create a fully integrated and sustainable scheme which will not only deliver 950 new homes including affordable housing, but new jobs, community facilities, green infrastructure, extensive local highway and public transport improvements and a new primary school.”

Later phases of the development will require further detailed planning approval.

The test track has been unused for moire than a decade and proposals for its redevelopment were first put forward in 2016.