Student complex nears for Canterbury Hall site

Canterbury Hall before the bulldozers flattened it 10 years ago
Canterbury Hall before the bulldozers flattened it 10 years ago
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A prime building site, which has stood empty and overgrown for 10 years, could finally be brought back to life as luxury student flats.

The land, where Preston’s Canterbury Hall stood until it was bulldozed in 2007, is on the verge of being reborn after major plans for a five-storey accommodation block were backed by the city council.

Developers have now gone back to the Town Hall asking for a minor change to the conditions imposed on the energy efficiency requirements set by the council.

And permission looks set to trigger a start on the project after a decade of stalled applications for the site at the busy junction of Garstang Road and St George’s Road.

The plans will bring an extra 190 student apartments to the city centre, with developers the Ladson Group also getting the green light for a similar five-storey block nearer to the University of Central Lancashire in Moor Lane, also offering flats for 190 students.

The Garstang Road project will bring much-needed improvements to a run-down site on a key route into Preston city centre from the north. It once housed the English Martyrs’ Girls School on the opposite corner to the church of the same name. When that closed in the 1970s, Canterbury Hall was built as English Martyrs’ parish centre.

The hall was a popular venue in the area for more than 25 years until the Catholic Church sold it off in 2006. Despite a battle to save it, it was flattened in 2007 to make way for a housing development which was never built. A succession of planning applications followed, including schemes for office accommodation and the city’s first international student halls funded by overseas charities.

Now it appears work could soon start on the 190-apartment block, which will include a study area, gym, lounge and roof terrace.