Preston wins top planning award for transformational housing growth


Preston City Council earned a prestigious planning award for its strategy that is transforming the city. Preston continues to be an example for other small cities and towns.

Recently, Preston City Council’s City Living Strategy nabbed the top prize at the Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence 2021. The city’s Planning Department also won team of the year. The City Living Strategy is a vision to transform Preston’s city centre and inner suburbs into a series of vibrant neighbourhoods.

Dyan Currie, chief planner of Brisbane City Council and chair of the judging panel, comments: “Preston City Council’s City Living Strategy is a worthy winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup. The judges were impressed by its proactive approach to the making of positive and impactful improvements to the city, noting particularly the use of innovative mechanisms to involve and engage with the local community.

“A human rights impact assessment is a unique addition to the strategy, setting a really positive tone for how planning can benefit all in a variety of ways. This project is highly relevant to the ‘levelling up’ agenda for the North and is transferable across the UK.”

Housing growth

Through the City Living project, Preston City Council is helping deliver much needed high-quality city centre accommodation. The council, along with Hive Land & Planning, are looking to “de-risk” 50 brownfield sites to attractive private investment. This will lead to the building of more than 3,000 homes.

Chris Hayward, director of development and housing at Preston City Council, says: “We have a vision to grow Preston into a modern and vibrant city, and attractive, affordable accommodation for residents is vital for this aim. We’re pleased this work has been recognised by the judging panel.”

Development, investment and regeneration

Over the past 10 years, Preston has seen a significant transformation and has become a thriving community. The city council has also focused on improving connectivity and walking and cycling routes. Additionally, Preston has been awarded £20.9m for a series of regeneration projects through the government’s Towns Fund, brining further investment and development to the city.

Preston is setting an example for other towns and cities across the UK. The way the council has also built up investment and wealth within the city and surrounding area has now become known as the Preston model. It’s as an example of how to successfully regenerate an area.

With this investment and improvements to the city, Preston has also become a property investment hotspot. It was even home to one of the busiest housing markets throughout 2020. Additionally, with competitive prices, it’s becoming a popular location for homebuyers as well.

Investing in commuter towns

Preston is an important commuter town of Manchester. Well-connected towns and small cities like, Preston and Stockport, are expected to see strong demand from both homebuyers and tenants. More property investors are following suit as well with affordable entry prices and strong rental demand.

Recently, there has been a shift in rental trends. This includes changes to location preferences. Demand has increased significantly for housing in commuter towns. With the rise of more flexible working arrangements, many tenants are considering further flung locations.

Additionally, the search for more space ensues. Outside of large cities, commuter towns can often provide more spacious properties. These areas are typically also home to more affordable house prices and rental costs. Moving forward, this rental trend will likely continue. This is due to people making significant changes to work-life balances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Established and up-and-coming commuter towns, especially those in the north of England, could prove to be long-term buy-to-let investment hotspots. If you’re looking to buy away from a large city centre, keep an eye on commuter and peripheral towns set to benefit from HS2.

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

Preston docks

Preston wins top planning award for transformational housing growth


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.