Facelift of Preston building set to spark more regeneration

Artist's impression of how the regenerated Church Court could look

Artist's impression of how the regenerated Church Court could look

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Major plans to revitalise an empty building in the centre of Preston look set to be given the green light.

An application was tabled to transform part of Church Court in Church Street into apartments, with a new dormer, an internal staircase and revamped frontages.

Town Hall bosses are due to discuss the plans, hoped to spark further regeneration of the area, next week, and officers have recommended them for approval.

The plans, submitted by David Cox Architects on behalf of ZDP Properties, are to convert the upper floors from offices to eight one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom apartments.

Other proposals include a new dormer, alterations to the archway and a staircase to provide a new entrance lobby, new shop frontages and landscaping.

Coun Drew Gale, who represents the town centre ward, said: “I am hugely supportive of the application, I think it’s vital to the regeneration of that end of Church Street.

“If we can get one unused building back into play, others should follow.”

A report to councillors, to be discussed at Thursday’s meeting, said: “The proposal is for the conversion and external alteration of a vacant and run-down existing city centre building.

“In terms of use, the proposed residential and retail development would bring a significant vacant building back into active use, add to the vitality and vibrancy of the area, complement other regeneration initiatives and generally support improvements to the quality and character of the area.”

The report said concerns had been raised from County Archaeology including fears about the replacement of traditional style shop fronts, but said they had been addressed.

The plans are recommended for approval, with conditions.