Huge plans have been released to build 7,000 new homes and create 5,000 new jobs across Blackburn and Darwen over the next 17 years.

Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council has released its 200 page dossier outlining its Local Plan blueprint for the district and what residents can expect.

Council officers have highlighted six areas of major investment as part of this scheme and are now looking for the public's thoughts on the overall project as well as specific parts.

Information packs have been sent out to every home in the borough, with display boards outlining the plans in the town's markets.

The core goal of the Plan is to bring about regeneration recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, the council says, with the onus on roads, schools, and health facilities.

LancsLive has highlighted six major projects within the Local Plan:

North East Blackburn Strategic Housing Site

This will involve building a brand new neighbourhood in the Roe Lee ward on land between the A6119 and Whalley old Road.

Branded a ‘significant new urban extension’, the neighbourhood will provide up to 1,500 new homes.

According to council documents, 30 homes could be created before 2025; 300 between 2025 and 2030; and 420 from 2030 to 2037.

A further 750 would be built after 2037.

The land in question was previously safeguarded.

Retail opportunities could be created here to meet local needs, if and when required.

Blackburn Growth Axis

Council officers say the Blackburn Growth Axis will help link sites from the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone and through Blackburn town centre, linking with the Haslingden Road corridor and up to the M65 at Junction 5.

The hope is this will further link the town centre with the Furthergate corridor and up to M65 at Junction 6.

Previous reports have said the Axis could result in over 10,000 new jobs and £500million of private investment.

South East Blackburn Strategic Employment Site

South East Blackburn Strategic Employment Site

The council has described this as a 'large-scale employment site at a key motorway location to attract jobs and investment to help improve the qualitative offer of development opportunities'.

Hopes are to build this on land off the B6232 Grane Road, to the south east of junction 5 of the M65.

Overall jobs created across three sites in the area could be 2,410 across 123,000 square metres of employment area.

Blackburn Town Centre Major Development Site

Blackburn Town Centre Major Development Site

This is a general plan to boost Blackburn town centre and bring about more ‘vitality’, including further commercial builds, as well as leisure and other main town centre developments.

The former markets site (marked as S211 in the above image) and former Thwaites site (S210 above) have been earmarked for development.

"These sites provide a key opportunity to help the recovery and regeneration of the town centre. The Council proposes supporting in principle a mix of different uses on these sites including residential, commercial, or leisure in line with recent developments at Cathedral Square and the new Blackburn cinema," the council says.

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

This will involve a number of improvements to key town areas, such as roads, schools and health facilities.

Issues have been divided into three needs - Physical, Social, and Environment / Green Infrastructure.

A number of needed projects have been identified, including:

Darwen Town Investment Plan

Darwen town centre

This move will look to rejuvenate the town of Darwen, with the curation of housing and employment sites, while there will be regeneration opportunities supported in place. by the Darwen Town Deal fund

Councillor Phil Riley, of ward Roe Lee and Blackburn with Darwen Council’s growth boss, said: “We know that the current pandemic has caused enormous challenges across just about every sector. However, it’s important we plan for the future with a clear vision of how we are going to improve our housing and employment for our future generations.

“It’s really important that we continue with the consultation despite the new lockdown – as this plan will ultimately help our post-Covid recovery.”

The Plan is condensed a bit more on the Shuttle website, where it tackles the thorny issue of being environmentally friendly.

It reads: “The new plan will address the Climate Emergency through a variety of measures. This includes the location and design of the development, identification of land for environmental opportunities such as biodiversity enhancements – setting aside space to create a woodland, wetland, wildflower meadows or other habitat for plants and animals and what is known as ‘Carbon sequestration’ – the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to mitigate global warming. It also includes a walking and cycling strategy.”

The plan is expected to be submitted to the Government in late 2021 before being adopted in 2022, pending approval.

Residents are encouraged to look at the Plan and have their say by visiting blackburn.gov.uk/localplan.

The closing date for the consultation is February 19.

Download the LancsLive app for free on iPhone here and Android here.

You can sign up for free daily updates with the LancsLive newsletter here.

For the latest news and breaking news visit the LancsLive website.

Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you.

Have you got news for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected].