RESIDENTS are to be consulted on 'garden village' plans which will bring up to 2,000 new homes to an area and encourage employment growth.

Hyndburn council bosses said plans for the garden village in Huncoat, first announced by the cabinet last year, are progressing well.

The masterplan work is due to be complete early in 2019 and will include new places to live and work, and will include up to 2,000 new homes.

Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson said development will also provide a significant employment space for logistics, manufacturing and commercial premises.

Cllr Parkinson said: "The council will consult with residents and other key stakeholders to seek their views on the council’s proposals for the Huncoat area and to help shape future plans.

"In the meantime major developers are expressing an interest in being part of the future plans which is very encouraging news."

"The council has appointed international design and planning consultants, Arcadis Consulting, to support it in preparing a masterplan and delivery strategy for the proposed garden village."

Huncoat residents will be consulted on development options in October 2018 at a public exhibition and will be consulted again early in 2019 on the proposed masterplan and delivery strategy.

Hyndburn cabinet were updated on the work at a meeting last week, where a report from the portfolio of Cllr Parkinson said 'the plans to establish a Garden Village at Huncoat can make a major contribution towards housing and employment growth in the borough.'

Cllr Dave Parkins, who represents the area on Hyndburn Council, said providing procedures are carried out correctly it will be a great thing for Huncoat.

He said: "It would be the biggest thing in Hyndburn.

"I had a very positive meeting with the people behind it and think it should be a good thing for the area.

"The most important thing, and the point was pushing, is that the infrastructure is there.

"There is a lot of wildlife in that area around the Huncoat power station as well, and that needs to be thought of and protected.

"But providing everything is thought of, and I assume it will be during the planning stages, it will be a great thing for the area."

The work comes after the the former Department of Communities and Local Government (now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) awarded Huncoat Housing Zone status as part of the wider Pennine Lancashire Housing Zone.

The council subsequently secured £224,000 from the Government’s Large Sites and Housing Zones capacity fund to help fund a detailed Masterplan Framework and Delivery Strategy that is capable of being implemented unlocking the potential for housing and employment growth in the Huncoat area.