1. Why is a review of the Local Plan being done?

The policy we have now is seven years old and we need a new joint Local Plan to provide a robust strategy to attract new investment whilst also continuing to respect the unique characteristics of the area. This will also be a joint Local plan rather than an overarching Core Strategy and 3 individual local plans, which make up the current adopted development plan for the area. So, it will be easier to read and use.


  1. Why is the Plan being done jointly?

The councils have worked successfully in partnership for a number of years. Evidence tells us that there are clear housing and economic market links between Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. 


  1. What area will the Local Plan cover?

The Joint Local Plan will cover the local authority administrative areas of Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. 


  1. What is the Issues and Options consultation about?

The Issues and Options Consultation Document sets out what we see as the key issues facing Central Lancashire.  It asks a number of questions about how we can deliver new homes; how we can attract and grow business and employment opportunities for people in central Lancashire; how we can improve transport and the way in which we travel; what health issues we are facing, as well as considering how we protect our resources and help fight climate change.  It includes retail and leisure evidence and proposals for the amendments of some town centre boundaries.


  1. Where is development going to go?

The Issues and options consultation provides information on the site suggestions submitted through the 2 call for sites exercises and asks for comments on these. These sites have not been formally assessed yet to look at issues such as flood risk etc. Detailed assessment of the sites will be done next year, taking account of the comments received through this consultation.


  1. What is the Green Belt and how is it different to Greenfield?

Green Belt refers to a planning policy and land use designation. This restricts development in areas of largely undeveloped countryside or agricultural land surrounding or beside urban areas.  72% of Chorley’s area is Green Belt and 69% of South Ribble is, which is a large amount.


Green Belt is not the same thing as greenfield (which is simply any land that has not been developed before). For example, there are greenfield sites that are not in the Green Belt, and there are brownfield (previously developed) sites in the Green Belt. Greenfield land has no statutory protection in its own right unless it has some form of protective designation (e.g. a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Green Belt, etc.).


There are occasional cases where very special circumstances mean that a planning application for development in the Green Belt can be permitted.


Councils can decide to undertake a study of the Green Belt in their boroughs and to propose to review its boundaries, which may include proposals to re-designate land for development. National Policy is very strict about the justification for this and requires councils to follow very clear steps before doing this.


Green Belt boundaries can only be changed following a decision by the Planning Inspectorate.


  1. Why don't we just build on brownfield sites?

There are very few brownfield sites (also known as previously developed land) left in Central Lancashire that are suitable for development (see the councils’ Brownfield Registers). All those that are, have been accounted for in the anticipated delivery under the current, adopted Local Plan or have already been included in the assessment of land for future development. Therefore, the councils have to consider other options for development and can consider greenfield sites to meet their development needs going forward.


  1. Why do we need to build more homes?

Councils are required to meet future needs for their areas which includes making sure there is land available for the types and tenures of homes needed.


Central government identifies the process that must be followed in setting Local Plan housing targets. The proposed levels of housing need are based on a range of factors, including population and household projections, future job growth and the economic aspirations of the councils.


  1. Will there be enough jobs for the people moving into these homes?

Central Lancashire is very keen to ensure that the new homes required will not lead to more people travelling long distances to work and will be identifying land for new employment development within the Local Plan.


  1. What is infrastructure?

Infrastructure includes lots of different things which an area needs to help it work properly.  It includes things such as transport (e.g. roads, rail, cycleways); education; health services; water, electricity etc. 


  1. How will the infrastructure that is needed to support new development be delivered?

There are different ways that new infrastructure will be delivered to meet the increased demand for services created by additional development:




  1. Is the infrastructure and development provided through City Deal part of the Local Plan?

Government can provide funding through specific programmes to fund new infrastructure to unlock new areas for development. Councils bid for this funding where appropriate to help release areas for future development. This has been done in Preston and South Ribble through the City Deal. The infrastructure being delivered through this programme can help support new areas for development which could come forward through the Local Plan, but the City Deal is separate to the Local Plan.


  1. If we are building more homes, will we need more roads; better public transport, schools and health services?

Yes. We know that for every new home we build the people living there will need health services; transport services; road maintenance; waste collections, and schools if they have children.


Many of these services are not under the councils’ control and so we are working very closely with our partners including Lancashire County Council and health bodies to ensure we are planning for the future needs of Central Lancashire.


When the councils consider sites for future development, the availability of infrastructure is carefully considered.


  1. Is the Local Plan being shaped by the requirements of developers?

The Local Plan will be shaped by a number of groups. This includes developers, but also local communities; local interest groups; statutory consultees (such as the Environment Agency); infrastructure providers, and local businesses.


  1. How were the sites within the consultation identified?

The Call for Sites are used for suggesting sites for consideration as future development options. To date, we have held 4 calls, with the most resent undertaken alongside the Part 1 Preferred Options consultation. 


Sites could be put forward by anyone or any organisation (even if they do not own the land) and typically have been promoted by land owners, developers, agents, local businesses and individuals across Central Lancashire.


The first call for sites exercise took place from 17th August until 9th November 2018, and the second between 28th January and 8th April 2019. Additional sites have also been added for consideration by the councils, based on information from a variety of sources, including from within the current planning system.


  1. If sites have been promoted and are being assessed does it mean that they will be allocated for development in the Local Plan?

No. The assessment of sites will be used to inform the plan, but it does not necessarily mean a site will be allocated for development. This is because not all sites considered in the assessment will be suitable or ultimately acceptable for development.


All the sites will be considered holistically across Central Lancashire to inform an appropriate strategy for development. Allocation of land will depend on different policy constraints (such as designated heritage or environmental sites) and practical constraints (such as rivers and hills).


Decisions to allocate sites will ultimately be made following public consultation on the options available and will need to be supported by an independent planning Inspector through an ‘Examination in Public’.


  1. Given the number of permissions for housing in recent years, can we stop granting more?

No. Whilst having a heathy supply of housing is beneficial to resist speculative, unplanned developments, we still need to plan for the longer term to ensure the supply remains throughout the plan period.


Bringing a steady supply of housing sites to the market also helps ensure there is competition in the housing industry.


  1. How do I respond to the Issues & Options consultation?

All responses must be received by 11.59pm on Friday 14th February 2020. We encourage people to respond online.  All the information you need is available on our website: centrallocalplan.lancashire.gov.uk. You will be able to read the Issues and Options document and respond using our online questionnaire there. This will help us understand your comments much more easily.


If you would prefer to submit your response in writing, please ensure you make it clear which questions you are responding to in your submission.


You can send these to us by emailing us at:



Or writing to:

Issues and Options Consultation

Central Lancashire Local Plan Team

Civic Offices

Union Street




  1. How do I find the website online?

You can find the website by clicking here:  centrallocalplan.lancashire.gov.uk. You can also find it by searching for Central Lancashire Local Plan in your internet search engine.


  1. What do I do if I don’t have access to the internet?

Hard copies of documents are available at deposit points across Central Lancashire (see our consultation page for the full list). You can also come in to any of the 3 council offices and ask to view a document there.


  1. Do I have to answer all of the questions?

There are a number of questions in the Issues and options document covering a variety of subjects we would like people’s views about. We understand that everyone may not want to answer all the questions, and we just ask that you answer those which are important to you.  The only questions that everyone needs to respond to are providing your name and contact information.  This is so that we can let you know how your comments have been used to help develop the Local Plan and keep you up to date with the progress being made on the Local Plan until it is adopted.


  1. Will my comments be made public?

The law requires us to make your name and comments about the Plan available. Your comments may be made available for the public to read in council offices and online as part of the Local Plan preparation process. Your postal address; telephone number; email address, and signature will not be published. Please note that we cannot provide anonymity or accept comments marked ‘private’ or ‘confidential’.


We cannot accept comments which may reasonably be considered offensive, racist, discriminatory or threatening. These, along with other non-relevant statements will be destroyed.

Updated on 07 November 2023