Preston is looking up again after plans go in for yet another skyscraper

Preston's skyline could be about to change yet again with another skyscraper planned for the city centre.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 29th July 2022, 1:25 pm

This time a 14-storey apartment block is being designed just yards away from the 16-floor Bhailok Court which is currently under construction.

If given council approval, Chadderton Court will join 13 current office or accommodation buildings which stand at least 10 storeys high and are within walking distance of the iconic bus station.

There are two more on the horizon - an 11-storey block on the site of the former Piper Club and the 16-floor PR1 development at the bottom of Avenham Street.

The two proposed blocks with the old chapel sandwiched in between.(Image FWP Ltd).

And with plans for the giant Lofthaus Tower - a 30-storey hotel and apartment skyscraper in Great Shaw Street - still not thought to be completely dead in the water, Preston is certainly looking up.

What is planned on the site in Percy Street?

The latest plans would see the demolition of the existing three-storey Chadderton Court flats to be replaced by a new 14-storey block with 44 private apartments.

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How Chadderton Court would look (Image FWP Ltd).

The scheme by Premier Sagar Ltd would form part of the city's Stoneygate regeneration plans to improve the area to the east of the bus station and create an 'urban village' at that end of the city centre.

The Chadderton Court plan will also see the construction of a five-storey block (Crompton Court) on a private car park close by.

What is happening to the old chapel sandwiched between the two sites?

The Grade II Listed former Unitarian Chapel is Preston’s oldest place of worship, dating back to 1717. It has been flats since it was renovated in 1996.

The old chapel building with the current Chadderton Court in the distance and the car park where Crompton Court will be in the foreground.

Because of its protected status both apartment blocks have had to be designed with conservation in mind and to ensure that it is still visible to public view.

What will the two blocks replace?

The current Chadderton Court houses just 12 flats and was built in the mid-1990s. A report to the planning committee says the flats are "sub-standard size residential units."

The plot two doors away, which is used as a car park with just eight spaces, is said to be an "underused piece of land."

Crompton Court will replace it, comprising eight apartments. It will be set back to allow views of the chapel at street level.

"Both courts could deliver much-needed high quality city centre housing and contribute towards the regeneration of the area, meeting the vision set out in the Stoneygate Regeneration Framework and creating a new vibrant 'urban village' in Stoneygate," says the report.

The Chadderton and Crompton Courts are intended to provide apartments which will be "ideal for single occupants, couples working or studying within Preston city centre and small families."

What is so important about the old chapel?

The fate of the former chapel building has been a major concern through the planning process, even though the building is no longer a place of worship and has been extensively altered over the years.

It was originally a Presbyterian chapel built for Preston's non-conformists, but later switched to Unitarianism. An adjoining Sunday school was demolished in the late 20th century.

The chapel became vacant in the early 1970s and remained empty and derelict until 1996 when it was renovated and turned into flats. It is still considered important enough to preserve.