Homes agreed for historic site

FINALLY APPROVED: Owner and businessman Yousuf Bhailok at the Harris Knowledge Park
FINALLY APPROVED: Owner and businessman Yousuf Bhailok at the Harris Knowledge Park
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Controversial plans to transform a historic Preston site have been approved, despite local objections.

Preston Council’s planning committee granted permission to build new homes at Harris Knowledge Park, as well as extensions to a number of Grade II listed buildings.

The application was previously knocked back by councillors amid concerns about the scale and impact on existing buildings.

But amended proposals have now been given the nod.

Addressing the Town Hall meeting, agent Alban Cassidy said: “Last time around, the planning and listed building consent application were refused because the extensions were considered to be unacceptable after a long and reasoned debate.

“Members gave the applicant a clear steer that three new houses were acceptable and landscaping was acceptable, but it was just the extensions.

“Looking at those extensions in particular, it was the size, the massing, the scale and the materials.

“You have a scheme in front of you now that has smaller extensions, significantly set back from the existing buildings not visible from the village green, but also using traditional material, for example Accrington brick.

“This scheme is still supported wholeheartedly by English Heritage.”

Greyfriars councillor Stephen Thompson spoke against the proposals, and said objections had been put forward by the Victorian Society and Lancashire Garden Society.

He said: “I hope from my residents’ point of view that you turn this down.”

Plans for the new homes and extensions, as well as listed building consent, were approved subject to a section 106 agreement.