Cheers to new Preston tower block on the site of a famous brewery

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The tallest apartment block in Preston has been given the go-ahead on land where the famous Matthew Brown brewery was born.

Plans for the 16-storey Bhailok Court development have been approved by the council, clearing the way for a landmark building with 200 flats near to the city’s bus station.

The scheme replaces an earlier design for 176 apartments over 15 floors which was passed by councillors in December 2019.

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Developers, The Heaton Group, went back to the planning committee asking for an additional floor and 24 more units.

How Bhailok Court will look.How Bhailok Court will look.
How Bhailok Court will look.

They said that by reducing the floor to ceiling height of all the apartments by 15 centimetres, the redesigned building will not be any higher than the original.

Bhailok Court, which will have two towers - one of 14 storeys and the other 16 storeys - will replace the former employment exchange which has already been demolished.

But the land is of historic significance because it was the site where brewer Matthew Brown launched what was to become a nationally acclaimed beer brand.

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Born on a farm in Samlesbury, Matthew began by converting his father’s shop in Pole Street into a beer house.

The site of the old brewery in Pole Street, Preston.The site of the old brewery in Pole Street, Preston.
The site of the old brewery in Pole Street, Preston.

He expanded and eventually the whole site was occupied by the Matthew Brown brewery.

The company had 250 pubs and eventually outgrew its Preston home, moving production to the Lion Brewery in Blackburn in 1927.

A condition of planning permission is that an archaeological “watching brief” is carried out during construction due to the likelihood of buried remains of the old brewery buildings.