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Grosvenor pulls out of Preston Tithebarn

Posted on - 20th October, 2009 - 4:12pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Opinion, Redevelopment

Preston TithebarnPreston’s long-running redevelopment saga, the Tithebarn project, was dealt a blow last week as Grosvenor, one of the major players in the scheme, pulled out.

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This leaves Preston City Council and Lend Lease as the developers who can make the scheme happen.

Grosvenor cited a change in direction for the organisation as the reason for pulling out. John Irvine, executive director for development, said:

Following a strategic review Grosvenor is refocusing its development activity on building a larger portfolio of medium-sized, retail, residential, and mixed-used projects rather than concentrating on a few large, long-term, city centre regeneration schemes.

We were determined to see the Tithebarn scheme through to planning consent, which was approved recently, and we wish Lend Lease and Preston City Council every success with the project.

The Preston Tithebarn Regeneration Area project aims to create a 21st century city centre for Preston offering new, high quality living, working, entertainment and shopping facilities.

The proposed scheme includes 1.5million sq ft of new shopping incorporating two major department stores plus around 100 other new shops. The proposals include a range of bars and restaurants, a 9-screen cinema, new and refurbished markets, approximately 500 new homes and 2,700 new car parking spaces. The masterplan outlines plans for enhanced public realm including public art, as well as a new bus station to serve the city.

The Tithbarn project is now up for review by the government after Blackburn and Blackpool Council’s lodged concerns over the project.

The Council have tried to play down fears that the project “will never happen” and the three main political parties issued a joint statement:

Although we are naturally disappointed with Grosvenor’s decision we understand their reasons. We are pleased that Lend Lease are still on board and are looking forward to working with them to bring Tithebarn to fruition. Our first task is to deal with the challenges of the call in procedure.

So, what do you think? Will it ever happen? Can it happen in the same format as what was previously proposed? There’s been a lively debate about Tithbarn going on for years on the prestonlancs.com forum – we encourage you to go and have your say. Blog Preston is currently putting together  timeline of the Tithbarn development, so we can give our readers a sense of what’s proposed and how long it has all been going on for.

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