Thumbs up for sky-high tower block in Preston

Artist's impression of how Bhailok Court will look
Artist's impression of how Bhailok Court will look
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A stunning 15-storey addition to Preston’s city centre skyline has been given the thumbs up, despite criticism it doesn’t include affordable housing.

Bhailok Court, which will comprise 176 apartments in two towers, was approved by the council’s planning committee after the developers insisted it was not financially viable to include some low cost flats.

Deputy council leader Coun Peter Moss, who is also the cabinet member for planning, said: “It is disappointing in terms of the lack of affordable housing.”

But, welcoming the redevelopment of a brownfield site in Preston’s new Stoneygate sector, he added: “We would hope it creates a ripple effect. Once we start to see some investment in the area some movement will follow.”

A spokesman for developers The Heaton Group told the committee: “When you’re building a building of this size and scale its clearly an expensive thing to do. Unfortunately it’s not viable to produce any affordable housing.”

He said the company was keen to start building “as soon as possible” and he hoped the state-of-the-art building would “created a new landmark and sense of place.”

Bhailok Court will be built on the site of the city’s former employment exchange, which had stood empty at the junction of Pole Street and Percy Street for around 12 years.

The old building was knocked down recently before the council gave demolition approval. Asked why they had jumped the gun, the company spokesman “apologised unreservedly.”

The new building will have two towers, one 15 floors high and the other six.