Former Department for Work and Pensions offices Red Rose House and Elizabeth House to be transformed into 130 flats

Two high rise former Government office buildings in the centre of Preston are to be transformed into apartment blocks.
Two high rise former Government office buildings in the centre of Preston are to be transformed into apartment blocks.
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Two high rise former Government office buildings in the centre of Preston are to be transformed into apartment blocks.

The plans for Red Rose House and Elizabeth House in Lancaster Road - formerly home to Department for Work and Pensions staff - have been given the green light.

The Heaton Group want to bring 130 flats to the two buildings.

While members of Preston City Council’s planning committee welcomed the changes to the offices, one said it was a shame not to see any affordable flats in the proposals.

Mayor of Preston, coun David Borrow said: “A development of this size and scale with no affordable houses is quite a lot for the council to take. This is a big development right in the centre of the city and yet there’s not affordable housing.

“The quality of the proposed development is something that we should be pleased to see.

“I think we have just got to let them build but it is disappointing there’s no affordable housing.

“I do welcome the quality of this development and I will be supporting this.”

Proposals from John Heaton from The Heaton Group do not include any space for car parking but do include a storage area for 50 bicycles.

Planning documents sent to the city council from agent Andrew Titterton of Studio KMA state: “The area is a priority for significant public sector investment and redevelopment with district and unique opportunities centred around the Markets Quarter, bus station and Guild Hall.

“It is envisaged that the revitalisation of this area could include a new city centre with restaurants and bars, enhancement of the city’s retail offer, upgraded public transport facilities and a transformed public realm.”

The office blocks have been vacant since October 2018.