Historic Preston pub to be centrepiece of apartment block

Archaeologists will be keeping a close eye on the remodelling of an historic Preston pub when it forms the centrepiece of a new apartment block.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 4:41 pm
An image of how the new apartment block will look, between the Unicorn pub (left) and the Moorbrook pub next door (Image: David Cox Architects).

Much of the Grade II Listed Unicorn Hotel in North Road is to be retained to front a development which will provide a total of 126 one-bedroom flats for short-term rental.

The project, which has now been approved by the city council, was originally planned as student accommodation, right next door to the £15m Canterbury Halls student complex which has 191 bedrooms.

But following a change in planning policy the developers have switched to serviced apartments aimed at visiting professionals, restricted to a rental time limit of just 90 days in a calendar year.

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The pub called last orders in August 2017 after 200 years of pulling pints. It was previously the Cattle Market Tavern after the livestock mart which operated next door, but later changed its name to the Unicorn after the market was replaced by a school and terraced streets.

The development will preserve much of the pub building, although demolition of ancillary structures at the rear is required as part of the apartments project.

Amongst a raft of conditions placed on contractors by the planning authority are several relating to protecting the history of the Unicorn.

Archaeologists will keep a watching brief on the scheme to make sure no damage is done to any heritage assets.

The pub will accommodate five apartments on the first floor, with a communal area downstairs. The other 121 will be in a 3-5 storey block at the rear on land which was the car park of the former B&Q store..

Under the conditions of tenancy, residents will only be able to stay for a maximum of 90 days a year, thus ruling out student use.

Those being targeted are guest university lecturers and those on short secondments to some of the area’s biggest employers.