Plans pulled for new homes on site of former Preston youth club and one-time stately home
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The scheme to create eight houses and 16 flats on the land - once the location of stately home Tulketh Hall - has been removed from the city council's planning list.
The move is the latest in an on-off saga over the future of the youth club which was closed down by Lancashire County Council in 2018, put up for sale two years later, only to be taken off the market following a local campaign and then surprisingly sold at auction in 2021.
A planning application was submitted four months ago for eight homes and a block of 16 apartments on the land in Tulketh Crescent, Ashton. That has now been withdrawn, although it is believed it could be resubmitted at a later date.
One reason could be that the site is of major archaeological significance because the grand Tulketh Hall stood there for centuries before it was demolished in 1959. County Hall experts have demanded that extensive investigations are carried out to identify any buried remains of the building and possibly a 12th-century Benedictine monastery which ancient maps show could have been close by.
A report to the city council's planning department says there is strong potential to encounter structural remains of the old hall which could date back to 1124. In the 1840s the building became a private school and in 1898 it was bought by the Roman Catholic Brothers of Charity as a boys' home. Later more buildings were added to create St Thomas's School for Catholic boys.
During World War Two it was requisitioned by the Army to become a barracks and later a military records office. It was badly damaged by fire in 1952 and eventually knocked down in 1959. The land became the Star Youth Club with its multi-use games area, but that was closed down in 2018/19 as part of an LCC economy drive.
The group Friends of Tulketh Hall tried to secure special status for it in the hope it could be spared from the bulldozers as an asset of community value. But it was eventually sold off for development. It is not known why the plan has been withdrawn.