First look: Preston student hub will be city's second tallest building

The Great Shaw Street development would be the city's second tallest building
The Great Shaw Street development would be the city's second tallest building

Developers have released details of a 20-storey, £15m student apartment block in Preston.

A planning application has been submitted for the LoftHaus scheme in Great Shaw Street, close to the University of Central Lancashire campus.

If approved, the development would provide around 300 rooms

If approved, the development would provide around 300 rooms

Developers ASSH Investments say the facility will provide around 300 rooms and at 72 metres high, will be the city's second tallest building behind the Church of St Walburge.

The bid will now be considered by the city council. It proposes the demolition of the Foresters Hall building, which currently houses 27 student rooms, to make way for the new build.

It is one of several high-profile plans to establish high-quality student accommodation in the city.

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If given the green light, the luxury digs will see students able to take advantage of facilities such as a 24-hour concierge service, onsite catering, private cinema, gym, study rooms, communal lounges, superfast broadband, car parking, and laundry and cleaning services.

Shoyab Musa, managing director of ASSH Investments, said: “This development will provide Preston with a new statement building while also creating jobs and economic growth.

“UCLan is creating a world class campus through its £200m investment and aspires to attract more students from across the globe.

"Our vision for LoftHaus is to set a new standard in luxury student living in Preston, helping UCLan to continue competing with the best.

“As a proud Prestonian, I feel proud to be bringing forward these plans which will help to further regenerate the city’s thriving student quarter.”

The developers say the block will include a striking "sculpted" roof structure and garden.

PWA Planning is advising ASSH Investments on planning matters for the development which has been designed by Preston-based David Cox Architects.

Daniel Hughes, associate at PWA Planning, said: “Today’s students expect a high degree of quality from their accommodation and this building would certainly meet this demand. It’s a well-designed building that would add to the range of student accommodation already in the city.

“The building will be Preston’s second tallest, but is positioned within the city’s existing cluster of tall office and residential buildings, minimising visual impact on the skyline. With a local developer and architect taking this forward, this will be a scheme that’s very much of Preston.”

David Cox, founder of David Cox Architects, said: “While Preston’s skyline has a recognisable profile and presence from afar, its tall buildings have an air of tiredness and their roofscapes are cluttered and unattractive.

“The addition of a new 21st century profile to the cluster of tall buildings will enliven the skyline and play a part in Preston’s emerging confidence and future. We have been working on LoftHaus for over a year and it’s great to finally be submitting our planning application.”

David Cox added: “From the research we’ve conducted of similar universities in other cities, Preston offers among the lowest levels of purpose-built student accommodation per student. At around 300 units, this scheme will go some way to addressing that imbalance.”