THE development of an area which could see up to 2,000 new homes built has shifted up a gear with the appointment of a design and consultancy firm.

The firm, Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited, have been appointed to produce the masterplan framework for the 'garden village' in Huncoat, which was first announced by the cabinet last year.

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

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, said; “Huncoat provides a major opportunity for housing and employment growth in the Borough.

"I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Arcadis who will help the Council develop its plans.

"The Masterplan and Delivery Strategy will set out a clear vision and development objectives for Huncoat which will aim to avoid piecemeal and fragmented development, ensuring a comprehensive and integrated and sustainable place."

The appointment of Arcadis Consulting comes shortly after Hyndburn Borough Council announced that residents are to be consulted on the plans.

Huncoat was designated a Housing Zone by the government and the Council in 2017 and then received funding to undertake master planning work to establish development potential within the area.

The Council already identifies strategic housing and employment growth in Huncoat in its Local Plan, parts of which are currently subject to review, so the timing of the Masterplan work in Huncoat has been geared to feed into this process.

The development of the area will include a focus on brownfield land which includes the former Huncoat colliery and power station sites.

Arcadis Director Aydin Zorlutuna will lead the project which is expected to take approximately nine months to conclude.

Lancashire County Council and Homes England are working in partnership with Hyndburn Borough Council as well as providing technical and specialist support