Almost 500 proposals have been put forward for suitable sites for housing and employment development across Central Lancashire over the next 15 years.
Preston, Chorley and South Ribble councils invited suggestions on two separate occasions over the last 12 months.
The three neighbouring authorities are working together to create a “local plan” which will identify areas for potential development up until the mid-2030s.
Local plans have traditionally been drawn up by individual councils as a way of meeting of government-imposed targets stipulating how many homes need to be built in a city or district.
However, the joint approach being taken across Central Lancashire means those targets could be shared across the three areas however the individual authorities see fit.
At this stage, the proposed sites and the volume of development which they could accommodate are purely indicative. They will have to be assessed for “suitability, availability and deliverability”, a meeting of the Central Lancashire Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) was told.
Details of individual proposals – some of which may be duplicate suggestions for the same piece of land – have not yet been made public. One hundred and ninety-four of the site proposals are in Chorley, 163 in South Ribble and 137 in Preston.
The individual authorities will this month be presented with the details for their assessment and will put forward their own site suggestions ahead of the first stage of a broader public consultation expected later this year.
“The three councils are doing detailed work and taking the information to their members to inform them of the specific sites [proposed],” Carolyn Williams, local plan co-ordinator, told the meeting.
“The information from that will feed back into the process of how these sites are then taken forward.”
A second “preferred options” consultation is then due to take place during the second half of 2020.
A housing study is also being carried out to assess the future need in the area. Under new national planning guidelines, it will have to take into account groups with specific requirements such as those needing affordable housing, families with children and older people – and not just raw numbers of dwellings.