This is how Lancashire's tallest building will look in the heart of Preston

Images of how Lancashire's tallest building will look in the heart of Preston have been revealed by architects.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:25 pm

The design of the 30-storey Lofthaus hotel and apartment tower, on the site of the old Foresters Hall in Great George Street, has gone to the city council this week seeking planning permission.

The spectacular skyscraper, which will dwarf all of Preston' s other high-rise buildings, has been increased in height since it was first given civic approval as a 21-storey block in July 2019.

Now it will have 174 apartments on top of a 166-room hotel, with a rooftop bar/restaurant and garden.

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How the new 30-storey skyscraper would look (Images Providence Gate Ltd).

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The tower will rise almost 100 metres into the air and dominate the city skyline for miles around.

Developers Providence Gate plan to demolish the Foresters Hall - which has been used in recent years as a 27-room student accommodation block - and build a stunning skyscraper with the hotel on its lower nine floors and flats on floors 10 to 29.

If approved the building will tower over two new 16-storey apartment buildings which have recently been given the go-ahead in the city centre - Bhailok Court near to the bus station and a complex earmarked for land at the bottom of Avenham Street.

How the tower would look at duck from Ringway (Image Providence Gate Ltd).

Lofthaus would also be at least twice the height of any of Preston’s existing tower blocks like the 15-storey Guild Centre and the 14-floor Unicentre, both near the bus station and Guild Hall.

And it would be even taller than the eye-catching spire of the St Walburge’s Church which is the UK’s tallest on a parish church.

Foresters Hall, which will make way for the new tower block, was built in 1878 and after the Second World War became a nightclub with a variety of names including Samantha’s, The Flamingo and The Cherry Tree.

Historic England says that while the distinctive building, created as the Preston Lodge of the Ancient Order of Foresters, is regarded locally as a non-designated heritage asset, its loss would not have a “significant environmental effect.”

The lower floors of the skyscraper (Image Providence Gate Ltd).

In its application to the council Providence Gate says the project "represents a fresh scheme for the site by a new applicant with the intention of creating a landmark building for Preston.

"The scheme aims to act as a catalyst for development in this part of the city.

"While the proposals are for a taller tower (than the previous one approved in 2019) this scheme does not have a materially greater impact on the local context."

The company says the rooftop bar/restaurant and seating area will offer "panoramic views of the coastline to the west and views of the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District to the east."

The block would dominate the Preston skyline (Image: Providence Gate Ltd).

It adds: "The design is deliberately contemporary to reflect a modern city and vibrant university in line with city living aspirations."