Stylish £26 million, 21 storey apartment complex is set for Preston's skyline after council approves plans
A state-of-the-art apartment block rising 21 stories into Preston's skyline has been given the green light.
The complex, called LoftHaus and housing 299 apartments, was unanimously approved by Preston Council's Planning Committee on Thursday (July 11).
It means that work can now start on building the multi-million pound development in Great Shaw Street, which is set to include a gym and cinema as well as a fourth floor balcony overlooking the city.
Demolition work will take place to knock down the historic Foresters Hall, dating back to 1879, with the complex to be built where it currently stands.
The apartments will be made up of 57 flats and 242 studio units, of which 289 will be one-bedroom and 10 will be two-bedroom.
90 apartments will be available under affordable housing guidelines, with all services in the building available to everyone.
Committee member Coun Peter Moss, the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation, praised the project and noted its value to the council's City Living strategy to encourage more people to live in the city centre.
He said: "This committee very often gets criticised, as do a number of planning authorities, for not attempting or trying to encourage building on brownfield sites. Clearly this is one of those and I think we should make note of that fact.
"It also provides additional material to the City Living strategy that Preston Council has. Of course, any further people that reside within the city will clearly have some kind of contribution to the revival of the high street."
Coun Moss added: "Hopefully it will be a catalyst for regeneration of some of the area around it and it clearly goes some way to addressing our five year supply of housing.
"On a negative note there is disappointment with the heritage loss in terms of Foresters Hall but there's no objections at all from Historic England."
Committee member Coun Salim Desai added: "It's great to see aspiration aimed at our city finally come to fruition.
"I would like to say let's get it built - and as soon as possible."
While the complex is set to be Preston's tallest residential building, it remains short of the city's tallest landmark - the spire of St Walburge's Church at 314 feet high.
With only 16 car parking spots created as part of the development, Coun Desai asked Chartered Town Planner Daniel Hughes, a representative from planning agent PWA, what purpose they serve.
Addressing the committee, Mr Hughes said "the intention is to contribute to the Travel Plan to stop the reliance on cars", adding that if a car owner chooses to reside somewhere without parking "you know the situation you are getting in to".
Mr Hughes also said it is a "development the city can be proud of that will provide numerous benefits".
He added: "The proposal is considered to represent sustainable development.
"Economically it would support growth, providing a statement building intended to act as a catalyst for wider investment and regeneration, and deliver public realm upgrades specifically to Patten Street and Great Shaw Street.
"Socially it will deliver first class city centre living accommodation to the provision of both market and affordable homes in a city centre location."
The committee unanimously approved the plan by 11 votes to zero.
As part of the conditions attached to the development, applicant Shoyab Mussa must contribute £6,000 to the city's Travel Plan to reduce the reliance on motor vehicles in Preston.