Five-storey apartment block plans for docks

Plans have been submitted for Midland House to be converted into flats and a new block of flats will be built on land adjacent to it
Plans have been submitted for Midland House to be converted into flats and a new block of flats will be built on land adjacent to it
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A five-storey apartment block could be built on Preston’s docklands if plans are given the go-ahead.

An application has been lodged to build 28 apartments on land next to Midland House, off Maritime Way.

The existing building is already due to be converted into apartments, and a new block could now be built on what is currently a car park.

Cassidy + Ashton has submitted the plans on behalf of applicants Oceanwave Estates Ltd and, if plans are approved, work could begin on site this year.

Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “With the recent upturn in the housing market there is now a genuine resurgence in interest in living in the dockland area. There are many pieces of underused land within the vicinity of which the application site forms one.

“With its proximity to the River Ribble we consider that the proposed development provides an outstanding opportunity for a modern apartment development and we hope that we will be in a position to start on site later in the year.”

Coun John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation with Preston Council, said: “It’s a brownfield site, and the more we can build on brownfield sites when they come up in the city, the less we have to develop in the countryside.”

He said other apartment developments had stalled in Preston, but said: “We are still desperately short of homes for people in the city.”

A statement submitted to Preston Council by Cassidy + Ashton said: “The proposal, along with the previously approved conversion of Midland House to apartments, will provide much needed regeneration of this site, whilst contributing to the shortfall in housing in Preston.

“The development seeks to maximise the opportunity provided by the river side location of the development site.

“A contemporary approach to design will be taken, with the intention being to create a landmark development to provide a focal point in the site and take visual emphasis away from the more utilitarian appearance of the existing Midland House.”

Plans say the development will provide “high quality” accommodation, with the new building set out in an L shape.

They said: “The illustrative elevations provide an indication of the contemporary approach to design that will be taken but also demonstrate how the upper storeys will be stepped up from an initial three-storey element closest to Midland House.

“In proposing five storeys at the highest point, the intention has been to take design cues but also provide a balance to the substantial bulk of the dockside development at Prince’s Reach before stepping down to the more domestic scale of Maritime Way to the west of the site.”

The statement added: “The proposal will result in a modern and contemporary development which fits within the urban landscape.”