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A scheme for 469 flats and maisonettes on the former Dryden Mill site at the junction of Manchester Road and Queen Street has been revealed as the keystone development which its is hope will kickstart the city's Stoneygate Masterplan.
Stoneygate Central is the latest in a string of high-rise projects to be revealed in a drive to attract thousands of people to set up home in the city centre.
The development will see a former mill site, currently used as a temporary car park, transformed into a swish neighbourhood with six blocks of varying heights - one of them 16-storeys tall - with retail units at ground floor level and a new thoroughfare running through the middle, called Green Street.
"The buildings presented will create a new statement of Preston's future as a major urban centre, providing living accommodation for a mix of people creating consumer demand for a range of amenities and city centre activities," says a planning statement submitted to the city council this week.
"Preston has enormous potential to explore its appetite for city centre living and this appetite requires the success of a major scheme to act as a catalyst.
"Stoneygate has been identified as a place within the city where city centre living can be explored."
The Stoneygate Masterplan has been launched in a bid to regenerate a forgotten area of the city centre close to Church Street.
Planners say they wanted a landmark building to act as a gateway to the area - and Stoneygate Central has been identified as that building.
The announcement follows months of consultations between developers Stoneygate Living Limited and the city council's planning chiefs.
The original idea was for 517 apartments in two towers 21-storeys tall. That was first reduced to 494 over 19 storeys and eventually 469 in 16-storey blocks.
Planning documents show there would be 261 one-bed units, 204 two-bed and four three-bed.
"This is a scheme intended to act as a significant contribution towards the realisation of the Stoneygate Masterplan prepared on behalf of Preston City Council," says the planning application.
"The Stoneygate Masterplan and Stoneygate Regeneration Framework identify the junction of Manchester Road and Queen Street as requiring a landmark building to act as a gateway into the area.
"Close cooperation with Preston Council officers has agreed a maximum height of 16 storeys as appropriate for this project."
The plans include provision for 129 homes for the over-55s, who would have their own communal space, lounges, a cinema room, library and roof terrace.
Dryden Mill was the home of W Dryden and Sons, millwrights, engineers and iron and brass founders.
In recent years it was the venue for an indoor car boot sale and an open air car park.
Only last November the city council refused permission for Stoneygate Living Ltd to open a temporary shipping container storage unit on the site to earn some short-term income from the land - between Manchester Road and Grimshaw Street - while plans for the apartment blocks were being drawn up.