Preston City Council is expected to approve plans for the eleven-storey city centre development
Preston City Council could allow an eleven-storey tower to be built in the place of shops and a former nightclub.
The council’s planning committee will on Thursday decide the fate of a plan which would see the major development built opposite the bus station and include more than 120 apartments and a private gym and cinema. If approved, the existing buildings on the Tithebarn Street barn will be demolished to make way for the new structure.
That would mean the loss of a charity shop, betting shop and the former Lord Byron’s nightclub which was most recently operated as Club Arena. The committee will meet on Thursday morning and have been recommended to grant approval, subject to an agreement being reached over Section 106 funds which must be paid by the developer.
The plans have been submitted by Wansfell Limited, a major landowner in Preston which is also responsible for the nearby St John’s Shopping Centre. Its proposal includes a reception, work from home space and resident’s gym on the ground floor on one side, with a cinema room on the opposite side.
The rest of the floors would be covered by 82 one-bed apartments, 37 two-bed apartments and five three-bed apartments which are designed for family use on the top two floors. The proposed development will provide balcony features overlooking the bus station and residents will have access to a community sky garden on the top floor of the building.
No parking spaces are proposed for the residents of the new building, though 23 are to be kept as part of a contractual obligation between the landowner and Bingo 3000 which forms part of the tenancy agreement. It is possible that these spaces could be made available to tenants if the agreement ends but otherwise those living there will be given the option to buy parking permits at the bus station. The applicant believes that “this is a better use of existing transport infrastructure and will only seek to support the bus station car park in the future through improved contract parking”.
Wansfell argues that the development will help toward housing supply targets, provide high quality accommodation and help revitalise the city centre. Its application states: “This will create an improved active and more animated street scenes that will improve the overall perception of the area and increase overall pedestrian activity. This will improve natural security of this area in the day and evening periods and create a more refreshed city centre environment.”
A report prepared for the planning committee recommends that the plans be approved, stating: “The principle of the proposed development is acceptable and, would not result in any unacceptable impacts upon highway safety, nor on visual amenity or residential amenity. Special regard to the preservation of the setting of identified designated heritage assets has been given […], the less than substantial harm to Preston Bus Station would be outweighed by public benefits as a result of the development.”
- 05:35, 7 JUL 2022