Conservation status of historic Preston orphanage site is under review

Harris Children's Home
Harris Children's Home
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Concerns have been sparked by a decision to review the special status of a historic former orphanage site.

The land of the former Harris orphanage and primary school on Garstang Road in Fulwood was made a conservation area in 1984 which deems it an “area of special architectural or historic interest.”

The orphanage opened in 1888 and was run by trustees until 1940 when it was leased to the county council.

A city council document says it is an example of Victorian philanthropy by one of Preston’s most important benefactors – Edmund Robert Harris.

It stopped being an orphanage in 1982 and it was leased to Preston Polytechnic - now the University of Central Lancashire - which then sold it in 2006 to the Bhailok family. They converted one of the villas into a dwelling.

Coun David Hammond, who represents Greyfriars ward, said: “ We need to be absolutely sure what it’s being used for and that building is not allowed to take place. There is an important war memorial - effectively Fulwood’s war memorial, which should stay on the site.

Aidan Turner-Bishop, of Preston Historical Society, described the move as “housekeeping” and is confident the site’s historical importance would continue to be recognised.

He added: “ The society hopes the conservation status will be preserved.”