Controversial mini village plans are back on agenda

Planning hope: Yousuf Bhailok outside one of the villas in Harris Park, Preston
Planning hope: Yousuf Bhailok outside one of the villas in Harris Park, Preston
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Plans to turn a historic park into a mini village for one family have been resubmitted, despite two previous rejections.

Businessman Yousuf Bhailok bought the Harris Park site off Garstang Road, Preston, from UCLan in 2006.

He wants to build three large homes on the former cricket pitch, create a new building by joining an old laundry and office, and add four large modern extensions to the rear of listed villas, which used to part of the Harris Orphanage.

Preston Council’s planning committee threw out designs in November, stating over-dominance, and impact on the existing historic buildings.

Councillor Margaret McManus said Edmund Harris “would be spinning in his grave”over the plans.

Now Alban Cassidy, agent for Mr Bhailok, has reapplied, with altered villa extensions.

He said: “Following the decision of the planning committee it was agreed by all parties that the appropriate way forward was to reduce the scale of the five proposed extensions and blend the proposed materials so as to reduce the impact of the development upon the character of the site.”

He added: “The revised proposals reduce the scale of the proposed elevations and place the main living floorspace of each extension further away from the rear elevations of the existing buildings. Therefore, they do not compete visually with the existing buildings nor impact upon views from the centre of the site.

“By setting the proposed extensions further away from the existing buildings they are also creating a self-contained, intimate, outdoor amenity area although the use of low walls and large expanses of glass mean that they are not visually enclosed or dominant, retaining the open character of Harris Park as a whole.”