Bid to build loft-style flats with cafe in Preston city centre

The flats plan for Guildhall Street
The flats plan for Guildhall Street

A £2.5m apartment block plan that is hoped to give a boost to Preston’s city living aspirations is back before council officials after a design tweak.

The bid to convert a former warehouse on Guildhall Street was first submitted in 2016 with works set to start later this year.

Developers ETC Urban Guildhall Ltd have now submitted an updated design, increasing the number of apartments by one to 18.

The original layout had been given the green light by planning officials and the revised framework is also expected to be rubber-stamped.

The apartments, aimed at offering young professionals a loft-style living experience in the heart of the Winckley Square Conservation Area, will be set above a ground floor commercial space earmarked for restaurant or cafe use.

The building was the city’s former union carriage works and was subject to planning bids to convert it into a hotel in 2006 that were later shelved.

Guildhall Street is the site of several similar apartment block plans with the former city Register Office - along with nearby Guild House and Winckley House - part of city living plans. Council officers had previously agreed the development would be a worthwhile addition to the conservation area. A report reads: “The proposal represents a sensitive conversion and positive enhancement bringing new vibrancy to an unoccupied site.”