Old Preston pub to be focal point of new flats complex

An historic Preston pub will be the centrepiece of a new apartments development if councillors give it the go-ahead tomorrow.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 6:00 am

The Grade II Listed Unicorn in North Road, which stopped pulling pints in 2017 after almost two centuries, is set to be turned into flats, with a huge new apartment block immediately behind it.

Developers HMV North Ltd want to construct a three-five storey block called Unicorn Hall, which will include 121 serviced apartments, topped off with a roof terrace.

The old pub will be refurbished and converted into five flats on the first floor and a communal area on the ground floor.

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The Unicorn pub will be turned into flats.

All 126 units are intended for “short-term” rental, with council officers recommending a maximum time limit for occupancy of 90 days a year - ruling out the possibility of them being used as student accommodation.

Councillors will be asked to approve the application at tomorrow’s planning committee, subject to 13 conditions being imposed, including noise mitigation measures and an archaeological survey to be carried out on the site before construction begins.

The meeting will be told that seven objections have been made, some expressing concerns for the scheme’s impact on the popular Moorbrook Pub which is only yards away.

In a report, officers say the objections have been taken into account, but the “principle of the proposed development is acceptable and would not result in any unacceptable impacts on visual amenity, nor residential amenity.”

The development would also cause “less than substantial harm” to the historic pub and should therefore be approved.