Apartment plans back on the table

Proposals: The block could be built next to Midland House in Maritime Way
Proposals: The block could be built next to Midland House in Maritime Way
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Plans for a block of 25 apartments on Preston’s docks are back on the table.

An application for the part three, part four and part five-storey building at Maritime Way was approved unanimously earlier this year, subject to an agreement to secure a cash contribution towards off-site affordable housing.

It since emerged the proposed development could not make any financial contribution while maintaining a “viable scheme”, but planning experts at Preston Council say the plans should still be given the green light.

A report to Thursday’s planning committee said: “The overall conclusion of the submitted statement is that the proposed development would be wholly unviable should any financial contribution be required, and that an insistence on such a requirement would therefore be contrary to paragraph 173 of the Framework, in that the obligation would burden the deliverability of the development.”

Recommending the plans for approval, it said: “Whilst the proposed development would fail to provide either on-site affordable housing or a financial contribution in lieu of on-site affordable housing, the applicants have satisfactorily demonstrated that such a requirement would render the proposal unviable and would prevent the delivery of the development.”

The report said that, while objections had been received relating to the proposed development by Oceanwave Estates Ltd, “the proposal is considered to make effective use of brownfield land within the main urban area of Preston, providing an acceptable form of residential development.”

Neil Dermott, associate director at agents Cassidy + Ashton, said: “This planning application will further complement the building and maximise space available on the top floor.

“Our remit was to create a landmark development to provide a focal point and take visual emphasis away from the more utilitarian appearance of the existing Midland House.

“Designed to be in-keeping with neighbouring properties, the scheme will offer a range of one and two bed apartments, as well as an impressive, large penthouse featuring four dormers and a terrace. There is a genuine resurgence in interest in living in the dockland area and a positive decision will ensure that demand is met.”