Flats, shops and cafe plan aims to make up for 'lack of services' in Preston’s housing boom area

A block of apartments above shops and a cafe could be built in a booming residential part of Preston.
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Outline plans for a three-storey development next door to the Cottam Hall Community Centre have been submitted to the city council.

The scheme would see four commercial units at ground level and nine flats on the two floors above, built on vacant grass land off Haydocks Lane.

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And the developers say the businesses would help to meet a shortfall in "local services" which have so far failed to materialise for the massive housebuilding programme going on in that area of the city.

How the apartments/shops block could look (Image: RPS Design Group).How the apartments/shops block could look (Image: RPS Design Group).
How the apartments/shops block could look (Image: RPS Design Group).
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"A large amount of recent residential development in Cottam has not been met by the necessary provision of local services - a shortcoming which this proposal looks to address," says a report to the council.

They application has been put forward for approval despite an admission that the provision of parking spaces for residents and business visitors may not fully meet the requirements of Preston's Local Plan. The car park has nine car spaces set aside - one for each apartment - and 11 for use by the four businesses.

In a statement to the planning department, the owners say: "It is acknowledged that the amount of proposed parking on site is less than the standards set out by Preston City Council in their Local Plan. Despite this, based on the nature of the proposed uses and the surrounding area, it is argued that the provision of parking on site is adequate.

The land off Haydocks Lane, Cottam.The land off Haydocks Lane, Cottam.
The land off Haydocks Lane, Cottam.
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"Firstly, the scheme has been redesigned and altered since the pre-application phase in order to maximise the provision on parking on site. Secondly, the commercial units will primarily be used by local residents in the Cottam area, meaning many will walk to access the services.

"Lastly, the location of the apartments in the wider Preston area means that residents are less likely to rely on a private vehicle to access local amenities."

With the car parking available at the community centre - there is also a Co-op convenience store adjacent to the plot - it is being argued that the surrounding site "provides a total of approximately 58 community parking spaces within three zones."

The application is part of a grand scheme for 1,100 housing units, retail, commercial, community services, a children's play area and open space in Cottam which was first submitted to the council back in 2012 and has been partly completed.

The top floor apartments would have terraced areas (Image: RPS Design Group).The top floor apartments would have terraced areas (Image: RPS Design Group).
The top floor apartments would have terraced areas (Image: RPS Design Group).
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The lack of onsite parking was first highlighted when the owners approached the city council before submitting an outline application. The layout was then modified to increase the number of spaces.

The developers say that because it is only an outline application the types of businesses which will occupy three of the four units is not yet known. But the report says: "It is envisaged that the units would most likely attract small local businesses such as a hairdressing salon or florist. And the other one would lend itself to a cafe use."