Residents have demanded an investigation from the city council after a number of large, dark grey box units were allowed to be built in Eastway, near the junction with D’Urton Lane.
Some of the warehouses – now occupied by Preston-based vape supplier I Vape Great (IVG) – loom over newly built homes valued at around £350,000.
Those living in view of the units have expressed shock and dismay at the development which they say is an ‘eyesore’, ‘a monstrosity’ and a ‘blight on the environment’.
The planning application from HBS Group for ten commercial units was approved by Preston City Council’s planning committee in May 2021, but the development has been mired in controversy since work started last autumn.
Some residents say the buildings are bigger than permitted and have questioned how the Council’s planning officers deemed the development appropriate for the area.
Others were angered over the removal of mature oak trees on the site which were allegedly dug up and burnt without permission.
Rebecca Emily, who lives opposite, said: “It’s awful. Right opposite the new estate that I live on. l feel so sorry for those houses that look right on to it as they purchased the houses before these were built.
"You spend a fortune on a lovely house to end up overlooking that. Bet there are a few who regret those purchases. Such a shame.”
“How could they say these buildings are appropriate for their surroundings?,” queried another resident Nick Chadwick, adding, “they may as well have built a prison there. I would be very disappointed if I lived in the nearby housing.”
Jenna Townley, who used to live next to the site, said: “I used to live across the road and they suddenly chopped and burnt a load of trees over the Easter weekend.
"I am absolutely horrified by these buildings. Those fields were just lovely to walk through.”
Whilst another neighbour added: “How on earth did they get planning for those monstrosities? What a sight to look out to day and night for the houses opposite. One minute there was a beautiful view, next these ugly buildings blocking all the light!”
Preston City Council said an investigation into the removal of the trees and other complaints is ongoing.
Councillor Maxwell Green, who represents the Sharoe Green ward, raised residents’ concerns at the planning committee meeting last year.
After seeking assurances that the land and wildlife would be protected, Cllr Green was disappointed at the outcome of the development and has reported his concerns to the Council’s enforcement department.
He told the Post: “This is a blight on the environment and for the poor residents who live around it, as there is now a big, dark building blocking out their gardens and natural light.
"There were plenty of other sites that this could have been built on which are already developed, such as the sites around the employment area towards Asda for starters.
"Since they were granted planning permission, I have kept an eye on the building work. Residents notified me that they believe the building is bigger than permitted, but also that the rest of the trees were being torn up, out of the ground.
"I have referred the development to enforcement with regards to broken conditions amongst other issues mentioned and it is currently being investigated.
"They didn't even have permission when they ripped trees down and burnt them, but instead waited for Easter weekend last year when they knew the Council would not be about to stop them breaking laws.
"I have been informed that action will be taken and I have been told that the trees removed from the site without permission must be replaced.
“It really is a shame, the developers simply don't care about neighbours around them and have destroyed the land and trees with no care or attention for the welfare of animals either.”
A spokesman for Preston City Council said: “Planning permission was granted for a mixed use development on the site in May 2021 and amended in January 2022 where landscaping was considered and controlled by planning condition.
“Officers are aware existing trees on the site have been removed.
"As there is currently a live investigation ongoing at this point, we are unable to give further details.”