A Community and Place Plan for Croston
It is important that any change or new development in Croston makes it a more resilient and sustainable place. With this in mind, the Diocese of Blackburn is seeking initial views on how the village could be shaped in the future.
The reasons why the Diocese is taking the lead in this process of community engagement is that it is one of the main owners of the undeveloped land that falls within the boundary of Croston and that, more broadly, the Church of England has shown its commitment to affordable housing through its report ‘Coming Home’ (February 2021).
A separate survey of residents across the whole of Chorley is also taking place at the moment. This is being organised by Arc 4 (on behalf of Chorley Council) and is looking specifically at local housing need in the borough. It can be found at http://app.keysurvey.co.uk/f/41568742/8aeb/.
What is a Village Place Plan?
This is a plan for Croston which is guided by the views and aspirations of the local community. It will be prepared in collaboration with local people and local organisations. It will provide a framework for the long term which sets out how some key activities and uses can be incorporated into the fabric of the village. It will be consistent with the planning policies of Chorley Borough Council but it will be more detailed than a broad zoning of land.
Where is the Focus of the Place Plan?
The plan will consider the whole village but will have a particular focus on the open or unused land within the village boundary. The two areas of open land where there could be opportunities for new activities or uses are at Westhead Road (next to the Croston Sports Club) and the land bounded by Out Lane. Both of these parts of the village are shown as “opportunity areas” on the plan that follows.
The First Step
We have no firm ideas about what changes or improvements could or should be accommodated but we want to be sure that any new activities or developments contribute to the wellbeing of the community in a positive and enduring way. We recognise that there are proposals already for new sport facilities on the land at Westhead Road but we would like these proposals to be considered as part of a broader approach which also takes in new activities at the other main opportunity area.
The first step for us is to gain an understanding of your views on what will make Croston a better and more successful place in which to live, work and to spend leisure time. We suggest a number of new uses and activities as part of this engagement but this is a prompt rather than an exhaustive list.
Once we have received feedback then we will have the starting point for setting out how Croston could evolve and adapt in the future. This will stimulate further discussion and lead us to more engagement with the community on an aspirational, but realistic, path to a community inspired place plan for Croston.
How the Opportunity Areas Might Change
We have set out some suggestions below but this is not exhaustive. We anticipate that you will provide comments on the suggested activities and uses and that you may provide us with other ideas for consideration.
Ultimately, the mix of uses and activities that will emerge from this process of community engagement will need to be compatible and neighbourly but that should not be a constraint at this stage to the generation of ideas.
Sports pitches and sport facilities (potentially at Westhead Road)
Multi Use Games Area (hard surfaced, all-weather court)
Recreational footpaths for the community
A nature area based around existing wildlife habitats linked to new footpaths
Allotments or a community garden
A diversification of food production based on modern methods such as hydroponics or vertical growing walls
Small workshop units for local enterprises
Serviced office units to support local enterprise
A pre-school nursery and after school club
Housing to meet the needs of specific groups such as the over 55s, retired people or younger people
Different types and tenures of affordable housing to meet needs that are particular to Croston
Family homes to complement other types of housing, perhaps on a theme of high levels of energy efficency.
Self-build or custom build housing opportunities
Please provide your feedback by 16th July 2021.