Designs for £26m 21-storey high-rise apartment block LoftHaus would provide 299 flats in Preston

Days after plans revealled what could be Preston’s highest residence at 20 storeys high - proposals for another apartment block mean it could be pipped to the post.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 4:00 pm
Designs for 21-storey apartment block LoftHaus would provide 299 flats in Preston

The designs for LoftHaus, a £26m 21-storey block tipped for approval, are to come before planners at Preston City Council (PCC) on Thursday.

Designs, from agent PWA Planning on behalf of applicant Shoyab Musa, show that the building would see Foresters Hall in Great Shaw Street torn down replacing it with the complex boasting 299 apartments.

Mr Musa said: “This development is aimed at professionals, students and modern renters who prefer to live in a fully-managed building and want a hassle-free renting experience.

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Designs for 21-storey apartment block LoftHaus would provide 299 flats in Preston

“It’s the kind of development that’s been around in the Far East and the big cosmopolitan cities for years and has now taken off in the UK due to the way millennials are choosing to live. It’s about living with like-minded people and being part of a community.

“It’s a very modern, high-end product. There’s going to be features like a 24-hour concierge, cinema room, a roof garden, and a ‘mega-kitchen’ where residents can socialise and cook together.”

Officers at PCC have recommended the build for approval as long as 30 per cent of the accommodation will be affordable housing.

The apartments will be split into 57 flats and 242 studio units.

Designs for 21-storey apartment block LoftHaus would provide 299 flats in Preston

Daniel Hughes, associate at PWA Planning, said: “This proposed development coincides with the wider regeneration of the city’s university quarter with UCLan’s £200m masterplan now taking shape and revitalising this part of the city.

“It’s a purpose-built, flexible building that’s tailored to the way younger people now live their lives, so it has the potential to be a game-changer for Preston. Not only that, it will provide a new statement building for Preston, complementing and enhancing the city’s tall building cluster.”

David Cox, founder of David Cox Architects, said: “Our brief was to produce a residential development to address an emerging need for co-living in Preston.

“While many of the flats will be suitable for conventional owner occupiers, it’s also aimed at people who might work in the city and commute home to other cities at weekends, as well as key workers and people on temporary contracts or short-term assignments. Students at UCLan are also likely to be occupiers.

“The idea is to provide space which is flexible enough to respond to changing and developing needs suggested by the people who use the building. It will create a new feature on the skyline of Preston and we have taken great care with the design to ensure the profile of the city is enhanced.”

Planning documents say: “Residents would benefit from a gym, cinema room, meeting rooms and communal areas, combined with a staff room, at ground floor level.

“Further, an outdoor roof terrace would be provided at the fifth storey of the building for communal use.”

At lower ground floor, 16 car parking spaces and a cycle store would be provided, alongside plant rooms, laundry and bin store.

Six letters of objection to the scheme were sent to the city authority voicing concerns about the loss of an attractive and historic building, unsuitable material and a feeling that all the flats should be affordable.

If the Lofthaus development is given the green light it would be the city’s tallest residential building at 21 storeys and its second tallest structure overall behind the Church of St Walburge.

A heritage statement on the impact the 21-storey apartment block might have on the view of Preston’s tallest spire, St Walburge, 314-feet high, found “there would appear no reasonable risk that the proposals would cause any appreciable harm to the setting and related significances of the Church of St Walburge through altering distant views”.