Masterplan for Leyland Test Track given the green light

A MASTERPLAN outlining proposals to build more than 850 new homes, community and employment facilities has been approved by South Ribble Borough Council.

The document will now play an important role in shaping future planning applications for the 120-acre site in the Moss Side area of Leyland.

The masterplan will also protect and provide new areas of open and green space on the site, identify points of access and make plans for pedestrian and cycling provision.

Prepared by developer Property Capital, a draft of the Masterplan was originally presented to South Ribble Planning Committee in March, but a decision was deferred, with a recommendation to ensure the blueprint more closely matched the development brief for the site.

Property Capital undertook further public consultation, contacting 6,500 local people and businesses in May and July. Workshops were also held with community groups and a public exhibition of the plans was held.

As a result, some key changes were made to the blueprint, including increasing the amount of land for employment, reducing the density of housing and including space for a new medical centre and primary school.

It also now includes traffic calming measures along Longmeanygate and a new bus route through the site.

The revised Masterplan was presented to the council’s Planning Committee last night (Wednesday), where it was officially endorsed by its members.

This important step will now pave the way for the project to start moving. Planning applications can now be submitted, and work could start on the scheme in as little as 12 months.

Welcoming the news, South Ribble Borough Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Strategic Planning, Councillor Cliff Hughes said: “We have big plans for the future of South Ribble and the former Leyland Motors test track is a key site in realising these ambitions through the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

“The Masterplan will prove pivotal to helping the council manage future planning applications for this site, which will provide a good mix of quality homes, a proportion of which will be affordable, as well as some excellent new community facilities for residents.

“This site will allow us to welcome new employers and residents to our borough, and crucially to have a plan in place to maintain South Ribble’s rural nature while doing so.”

The former test track site, which lies between the Moss Side Industrial Estate and Longmeanygate, was used by Leyland Motors to trial prototypes and vehicles fresh from the production line. But the site has lain unused since 2005.

The scheme is expected to take around ten to 15 years to complete, and is part of the £434m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.

For more information about City Deal visit  www.lancashirelep.co.uk/city-deal or follow @LancsCityDeal on twitter.