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3.1 The Strategy for the Burnley Local Plan sets the context within which the Plan’s policies and proposals have been prepared. It also describes how the Local Plan will meet its key aims and move towards bringing about our long term Vision for Burnley in 2016.

3.2 The Strategy has been developed in response to the key issues facing Burnley, identified in Chapter 2, and in the light of the pre-deposit consultation on Issues conducted in 1999. The Strategy is in accord with the existing policy framework set at national, regional and county level.


3.3 The Burnley Local Plan Strategy has been developed to pursue a VISION for the Borough in 2016. The Burnley Local Plan VISION for the Borough in 2016 is that:

By 2016, Burnley will be a thriving town in England’s North West. It will provide a good quality of life for everyone. At the same time Padiham will have become a thriving market town. Both towns will be places in which people can have pride and confidence. We will achieve this Vision by:

  • protecting the best elements of our local identity;

  • by improving the poorest; and

  • by minimising impact on the environment.

3.4 This Vision complements and works in tandem with the Vision for Burnley set out in Burnley Action Partnership’s Community Plan:

“To achieve a Burnley we can all be proud of. A Burnley that will become a place with a diverse and united community, a modern economy, a healthy, safe and clean environment and quality services which work together for the good of the public.”

3.5 The Burnley Local Plan vision also complements the East Lancashire Partnership’s Vision for East Lancashire by creating a thriving sub-regional town that will be part of “a unique, well networked group of strong, supportive and diverse communities – half a million people working together to achieve facilities and opportunities equal to the best in European cities of our size.”

3.6 The Vision is our long-term target of what Burnley should be in 2016. The second review of the Burnley Local Plan, and its successors, will pursue this Vision.

KEY AIMS for the Burnley Local Plan

3.7 This Vision will only be realised by working on many fronts and six KEY AIMS have been identified for the Burnley Local Plan.

KEY AIM 1 – To secure urban and rural regeneration by promoting quality sustainable forms of development

KEY AIM 2 - To promote growth and diversification in the local economy

KEY AIM 3 – Better quality housing and spaces

KEY AIM 4 – To protect and enhance the Borough’s key environmental assets

KEY AIM 5 – To help promote community cohesion

KEY AIM 6 – To improve the roles and functions of Burnley and Padiham town centres, locally and regionally


3.8 Our Strategy is a Strategy for Action. It tries to identify in detail how the Local Plan will tackle the Key Issues facing the Borough, identified in Chapter 2, and move towards achieving the Plan’s KEY AIMS and overall VISION.

3.9 The Strategy identifies for each of the Plan’s Key Aims a number of objectives. These objectives if met will bring about successful implementation of the Local Plan Strategy.

3.10 Performance in relation to these objectives will be measured against targets defined in the thematic chapters of the Local Plan.

KEY AIM 1 – To secure urban and rural regeneration by promoting more sustainable forms of development


3.11 Key to securing urban and rural regeneration will be securing more sustainable forms of development.

3.12 Key to this will be the maintenance of the existing urban boundary within which all new urban development will be concentrated. The Local Plan will limit peripheral development that generates more travel, especially when poorly served by public transport.

3.13 The Local Plan will also seek to achieve more balanced and mixed development, fewer estates of one use, be it housing or employment, but sustainable communities with a mix and range of uses. Re-using urban land and buildings is a third key strand in our strategy to promote more sustainable forms of development: rather than develop on Greenfield sites, the Local Plan will promote the development of vacant buildings and previously developed land. By developing a better, more integrated public transport system, the Local Plan also seeks to reduce reliance on the private car, reduce congestion, pollution and accidents. Opportunities for walking and cycling will be increased and such routes will be made safer and more attractive.

3.14 The Local Plan’s policies will also seek to bring sustainability to the heart of the planning agenda through policies on such issues as design, energy efficiency, and use of resources. These are issues about ensuring development is of the highest quality in terms of materials used, architecture and urban design.


  • To produce more sustainable forms of development

  • To seek more mixed and balanced patterns of development

  • To create an integrated, multi-modal transport network

  • To reduce the need to travel

  • To increase opportunities for journeys by foot and cycle

  • To reduce reliance on, and the impact of, the private car

  • To improve public transport

  • To ensure all new development is accessible by public transport, foot and cycle

  • To re-use vacant land and buildings

  • To seek to ensure all new development takes in to account the principles of sustainable development

  • To seek development of the highest possible quality

  • To secure development that meets the principles of good urban design

KEY AIM 2 – To promote growth and diversification in the local economy


3.15 The Local Plan will seek to promote growth within a more diverse and modern economy that does not compromise the principles of sustainable development. This will be pursued by identifying a range of sites within the urban boundary that will attract quality employment in the region’s sectoral priorities. Diversification and modernisation will lead to more jobs, better pay, and a more balanced local economy. The Plan will also seek to concentrate development within the town centres. This will be especially so for office, leisure and tourism development. Major retail development will only be acceptable within and adjoining the main shopping areas of Burnley and Padiham town centres.

3.16 Diversification will also be pursued by encouraging small businesses. Improving existing premises and their surrounding environments will also be a priority in the pursuit of a more modern local economy. Rural diversification will be encouraged where it does not conflict with the environmental and sustainability objectives of the Plan.

3.17 All new development for employment uses will be expected to be of a high standard of design, and be accessible, or potentially accessible, by public transport.


  • To promote growth within a more diverse and modern local economy

  • To concentrate new development for offices, leisure and tourism within the town centres

  • To further diversify the rural economy

  • To maximise the contribution of the town’s built heritage to economic regeneration

  • To encourage the creation and development of small businesses

  • To encourage further development of tourism, leisure, recreation and sport

  • To encourage growth in New Technology industries

  • To modernise older industrial areas and premises

KEY AIM 3 - Better quality housing and spaces


3.18 The areas and neighbourhoods where people live will provide decent homes for all in a quality environment. All new housing development will take place within the existing urban boundary, and wherever possible will be on brownfield land, or in converted buildings. Locations for new housing development will have to be well related to existing public transport infrastructure, jobs and services.

3.19 In planning for better living spaces and neighbourhoods the emphasis will be on quality in terms of design, materials, energy efficiency, security and safety. All new housing will be expected to contribute to the need for open space provision.

3.20 The town’s most unattractive housing areas will be singled out for specific attention and action. These areas will be the priority areas for regeneration activity. The objective will be to produce attractive residential areas with good quality homes, where people are proud to live, without fear of crime, vandalism or anti-social behaviour, and where open space, shops and other services, and jobs are easily accessible.


  • To provide a decent home for all

  • To secure quality and design in all new housing development

  • To improve security and safety (and reduce anti-social behaviour)

  • To ensure all housing areas have adequate open space, and access to shops and services

  • To ensure that all new housing is accessible by public transport

  • To regenerate the most deprived areas of housing

  • To reduce or eliminate environmental problems and nuisance

KEY AIM 4 –To protect and enhance the Borough’s key environmental assets


3.21 The Local Plan will protect and enhance the best of the Borough’s natural and man made environment, e.g. listed buildings, conservation areas and moorland landscape. These features define the area’s character and identity.

3.22 The Local Plan will protect urban and rural open spaces. Urban open spaces provide important outlets for recreation and break up the built environment making Burnley a greener, pleasanter place. Such areas will be protected, enhanced, and where possible new spaces will be created as part of new housing development, in town centres, and in the more densely developed areas of terraced housing identified for regeneration.

3.23 Rural open spaces are protected to safeguard agricultural land, landscape, wildlife, and their value as recreation areas. Preventing inappropriate development in such areas will maintain a compact urban area and help to concentrate regeneration activity. The Local Plan will maintain Green Belt boundaries and will continue to protect other rural and countryside areas.

3.24 The Local Plan will protect features of ecological value such as Biological Heritage Sites, wildlife links and corridors. The Plan will include policies to prevent pollution of air, water, and soil.


  • To protect and improve the built environment

  • To protect and enhance the natural environment

  • To protect and enhance biodiversity and habitats

  • To maintain the Borough’s Green Belt

  • To protect and enhance the Borough’s landscape

  • To protect other major open land areas other than Green Belt

  • To improve the Borough’s watercourses including its rivers and the canal

  • To protect the best agricultural land and promote rural diversification

KEY AIM 5 – To help promote community cohesion


3.25 The Local Plan will seek to create a more inclusive community by increasing the range of local facilities, and by improving access for all to a range of facilities across the Borough.

3.26 The Local Plan will seek to protect local shops and neighbourhood centres, service uses and open spaces. Where such facilities are lacking, the Local Plan will encourage new development to provide such uses. Access to facilities will be improved by improving walking, cycling and public transport, locating development close to existing transport corridors and by concentrating development in and around the town centres. Improving access means improving access for all, disabled, mobility impaired, elderly, children, women and ethnic minorities. The Local Plan will address the needs of the ethnic minority community particularly with regards to employment, housing, worship, other community facilities and burials.

3.27 A more inclusive community also means better homes, better jobs, and a safer, more attractive environment. Meeting our housing, economic and environmental objectives will all go towards creating a more inclusive community. The Local Plan will seek, in particular, to concentrate such activity in the Borough’s more deprived areas to promote the comprehensive regeneration of such communities.

3.28 To meet the needs of the local community the Local Plan will encourage community involvement at all stages of the Plan process.


  • To maintain and improve local shops and services

  • To promote comprehensive regeneration in communities suffering from social exclusion

  • To improve access to facilities for all

  • To satisfy different cultural needs

  • To promote community involvement in the Local Plan process

KEY AIM 6 – To improve the roles and functions of Burnley and Padiham town centres


3.29 The Borough’s town centres will be the focus for all new major retail, office, and leisure development. This will be particularly the case for Burnley where the Local Plan will seek to maintain the centre’s important sub-regional role. The Plan will identify a new role for Padiham town centre – building on the centre’s heritage and fine buildings – improving the range and type of shops and encouraging tourist related development.


  • To maintain and improve Burnley as a sub-regional centre

  • To identify a role for and promote the regeneration of Padiham town centre

  • To identify sites and concentrate development in the town centres

  • To promote regeneration of key areas of the town centres e.g. the Weavers’ Triangle, and Padiham town centre

  • To promote mixed use development

  • To protect and improve townscape

  • To promote reuse of land and buildings

  • To encourage the re-use of upper floors

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