How to hide a four-floor apartment block in leafy Preston suburb

Plans to ‘hide’ a four-storey apartment block in a leafy residential part of Fulwood have been submitted to the city council.

By Brian Ellis
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4:55 am

A developer has designed a scheme for two buildings comprising a total of 23 flats on disused land in Garstang Road.

But because the ground slopes away from the busy thoroughfare, the bigger four-floor block will be almost totally obscured by a smaller two-storey building at the roadside.

Bridgewater Asset Management has resubmitted plans for the flats development on the footprint of two earlier blocks which were approved by the council in 2019, but never built.

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The overgrown land where 217 Garstang Road used to stand.

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The land, where No 217 Garstang Road used to stand, is derelict and overgrown. But the proposed "contemporary modern" blocks have been designed to fit in with one of the more the affluent parts of Preston.

The smaller of the two buildings, at the front of the site, would be two-storey, housing four two-bed apartments.

The larger block at the rear, reaching four stories, would contain 13 one-bed flats and six two-bed. But the sloping site means it would be less visible from Garstang Road.

Artist's impression from Garstang Road of how the four-storey block could be hidden behind a two-storey one (Image: Campbell Driver Partnership).

A report submitted to the council says there have been "numerous" planning applications for multiple occupancy buildings the site since 2015 when a bungalow, set back from the road in the centre of the site, was demolished. The bungalow, said to be "in considerable disrepair," had been uninhabited since 1995.

A current planning permission is in place to build a new detached house at the south end of the land, with two apartment buildings comprising 18 units. The new application increases the number to 23.

The planning report says: "The smaller building will feature a traditional style pitch roof which will be reminiscent of the houses seen on Garstang Road, ensuring the building is in keeping with its surroundings, despite its modern feel.

"Due to the layout of the site, the building that will be easily seen from Garstang Road would be the smaller of the two.

"The second building, despite being larger, will be primarily hidden from view due to the combination of being stepped back from the road as well as the drop in site levels.

"The use of the existing levels of the site allows for the larger building, without it being too imposing on the existing surrounding landscape."