Preston tax office to be converted into flats

Preston’s oldest tax office looks set to become apartments as the drive to encourage city centre living gathers pace.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 7:02 am

Charles House, which was built to accommodate the Inland Revenue in Winckley Square more than half a century ago, is being earmarked for conversion to 70 flats in a plan submitted to the city council.

The switch follows the HMRC’s decision to streamline its service nationally. Charles House is one of several tax offices across the North West which have closed as work moves to new regional centres in Manchester and Liverpool.

The five-storey office block was recently put on the market with an asking price of £4m.

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Charles House tax office in Winckley Square is set to become 70 apartments.

And last week an application for a change of use to residential was lodged with the council by developers Empire Property Concepts Ltd of Doncaster.

The plan is for 58 one-bedroom apartments and 12 two-bed.

Charles House stands on the site of John Dalton’s detached residence - one of the first built in Winckley Square.

It was demolished in the 1960s and replaced by the current block built in 1968 to house the Inland Revenue.

It comprises almost 40,000 square feet of office space over five floors.Its future as a tax office was in doubt as long ago as 2013. In 2017 it was announced it would close this year.

The scheme is the latest example of office accommodation in Winckley Square being converted to living space.

Lancashire House, Winckley House and Guild House have all gone the same way to satisfy a hunger for high-end homes in the city centre.