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Lan Plan: Central Lancashire New Town (1965-86)

Jolley, VS (2014) Lan Plan: Central Lancashire New Town (1965-86). In: Twentieth Century New Towns: Archetypes and Uncertainties, 22 May 2014 - 24 May 2014, Porto, ESAP.

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Abstract

From 1965 Lancashire, in the North West of England, became the focus of a major renewal scheme: the creation of a new ‘super-city’. The last and largest New Town designated under the 1965 Act, the proposed city, called Central Lancashire New Town (CLNT), differed from other New Towns. Although influenced by the ideals and example of Garden City model, its master plan was based on the region’s existing urban polycentricity that had evolved during the Industrial Revolution. By unifying and supplementing existing townships it aimed to generate prosperity on a sub-regional scale using the New Towns Act, rather than creating a single new urban development. Although only part-realised the scheme became a focus for Lancashire’s industrial and urban revival, rejuvenating many existing communities and providing multiple municipal modern city-scale civic buildings in Lancashire’s towns. The paper will outline the origins, intentions and achievements of CLNT including examples of its modern and often brutalist architectural legacy. As urban design precedent, it is pertinent to the Town and Country Planning Association’s current national campaign to continue the work of the Garden City movement as well as regional debates concerning Lancashire’s future urban redevelopment, particularly Preston (the proposed sub-regional centre of CLNT), which was granted City status in 2002.

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