Luxury flat development in city centre is 'behind schedule' due to Covid regulations

The building of 130 brand new luxury flats in Preston has been delayed by three months, with developer The Heaton Group admitting that Covid-19 restrictions meant fewer workmen could operate on the site.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 3:45 pm

The Bishopgate Gardens development was set for completion this summer but has now had its opening pushed back to September after the build began running behind schedule.

First announced last year, the build was set to be Preston's first amenity-focused residence offering roof gardens, resident's lounges, co-working spaces and an array of independent retailer within the same development, encouraging a 'community-led' way of living.

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Managed by the Heaton Group, the building on Ormskirk Road was set to offer 130 new luxury apartments and was first planned to open at some point this month.

It had originally been advertised as opening in December 2021, before then being moved six months forward and announced to be opening its doors in June.

The Post took pictures of the development last week, which does not yet appear to be completed, before the developer told us the opening had now been delayed to September.

Due to Covid restrictions limiting the number of workmen on the site, developer The Heaton Group announced it is currently 'behind schedule', meaning buyers will have to wait another three months before getting in.

The 130 apartment block will now open in September

A spokesperson for the Heaton Group said: “Building with Covid restrictions in place has logistical challenges as we simply can’t safely have as many contractors working on the site as we usually would and unfortunately this means we’re slightly behind schedule.

"We are confident that when we do open in September it will be a building the city can be proud of and we look forward to opening the doors after the summer.

"We have had a fantastic response to finding independent retailers and are pleased to have one retailer confirmed and are in several ongoing and advanced conversations about the other units"

So far, just one of the seven ground-floor retailer plots has been taken, but the Heaton Group has said it is in talks with other local businesses about taking over the remaining six plots.

Covid restrictions have delayed the project

Its website states that one-third of the apartments have already been sold, with prices starting at £125,000, adding that there is currently a waiting list for viewings.

Originally, the Heaton Group had advertised a deli, coffee shop, barbers, a beautician, hairdressers and a florist at the development but has since confirmed only one business has taken on a unit at the site.

And the Heaton team announced it had worked closely with award-winning architects and interior designers to create the retail spaces which will be 'fully fitted and finished to an exceptional standard', ready for the businesses to begin trading from day one.

Director John Heaton said: “The past year has been a massive challenge across the world, but artisan traders have really suffered and we’re in a position to be able to give back and create ready-to-go businesses for entrepreneurs who want to get going with their business straight away, without any of the often prohibitive costs.

This is how the development is set to look when it officially opens

"We want to create a creative and independent retail hub as part of our Bishopgate Gardens site, which will not only be great for the people that live with us, who are looking for shops and amenities on their doorstep, but it’ll be great for the city.

"Preston is massively changing and we want to be a part of that for the long term.”

When completed, the shop units will overlook the new plaza set to be created which will merge with the new streetscape planned by Preston Council.

Residents will be offered a space to meet, work and socialise, with an outside seating area for the Coffee Pod and space for events throughout the year.

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Reduced numbers of workmen have made the project run 'behind schedule'