The latest update of the West Lancashire Sustainable Settlement Study was published in June 2012. It examines the settlement hierarchy of West Lancashire in order to identify the most sustainable settlements to accommodate future development.
Sustainable development is widely defined as 'development which meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'.
The study provides analysis of each settlement in the borough in terms of context, demographics, accessibility to key services, transport, housing, employment, recreation and environment to evaluate the sustainability of each area.
The assessment provides evidence to the most sustainable locations which will be used to inform the Local Plan.
However, although the final hierarchy will indicate the most sustainable locations for development, there will always be other factors that need to be considered. These include environmental constraints, local needs and the availability of sites.