A developer has turned its back on plans for city centre apartments in favour of a new scheme to bring a nine-storey hotel to Preston.
Applicant Ascena Developments had initially hoped to bring 50 apartments to the site on Marsh Lane, but has submitted plans for a 63-bed hotel on the site, to help meet a boom in demand for visitor accommodation.
The proposals for the hotel, named after printing pioneer William Caxton, would also bring a restaurant and bar to the area.
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Preston-based agent PWA Planning is seeking approval for the scheme from Preston Council.
Joshua Hellawell, senior planner at PWA planning, said the need for more hotel accommodation in the city centre was recognised.
He said: “We have engaged with the council and are well aware of the needs for more hotel provision in the city centre.
“The footing on that site is quite small and it was decided to bring something forward that would provide the best possible use of that space.
“We share the ethos that the council has to increase hotel provision and accommodation in the city centre.”
PWA said in documents submitted to the council: “The applicant has since changed the scheme to provide 63 hotel rooms with a bar and restaurant to address the demand for hotels in the city centre located in or near to the university campus.
“The Hotel Needs Assessment produced for Preston City Council in 2013, detailed that the hotel market in Preston has enjoyed occupancy levels consistently in excess of that recorded by the overall provincial UK market between the years 2007 and 2010.
“Based on a higher end growth rate, the report concluded that its likely additional hotel capacity of around 697 hotel bedrooms could be required by the year 2027.
“In line with the conclusions of the needs assessment, it is proposed that the development would deliver high end quality accommodation.
“Further to this, the proposal looks to take advantage of modern technology to provide users with the ability to access the hotel and control various features, such as lighting, through a dedicated hotel app, thus providing a unique, convenient and progressive experience.”
As well as a restaurant and bar, if plans are given the green light, the ground floor will provide hotel lobbies, cellar, a fridge and freezer storage area and a staff room.
Each subsequent floor would include solely hotel accommodation. The building would appear as three blocks, each nine storeys in height. Entrances to the hotel, bar and restaurant would all be from Marsh Lane.
Plans involve demolishing existing buildings at the site.
The site is currently occupied by two terraced properties and a number of workshops which are two storeys in height and front Marsh Lane.
Mark Whittle, of Preston Business Improvement District, said: “If these plans come to fruition, it will be another great addition to the city centre, particular in that area of the district where regeneration is important.
“Preston, with the investment of the Walker Williams Group and Signature Living, is experiencing significant investment in the overnight leisure market, adding to good quality existing hotels that are already established in the city centre”.