A long-planned giant block of student flats in Preston city centre is due to get moving, having been attempted since 2004.Advertisement
Land on Edward Street, between Corporation Street and Friargate, has sat empty and now plans have been lodged for a seven-storey building home which would be home to 319 students.
Stonewell Property, based in Claughton on Brock, want to build the student accommodation which would also include a new retail unit facing onto Friargate.
Detailed drawings by David Cov Architects show the scale of the building which would loom over where Marsh Lane joins Corporation Street.
Plans show 64 flats would be created and the complex would include a common room, laundry room, cycle store and staff car parking. The flats would be centred around an internal courtyard.
A statement from the architects outlines how the building would be designed not to dominate Corporation Street’s mainly Victorian architecture.
They write: “Along Corporation Street, the characteristics of buildings in the immediate vicinity of the site appear to have commonality in the use of traditional red brick and stone banding. This has been carefully considered in the proposal which seeks to take a more contemporary interpretation of this material relationship.
“The development increases in scale on the corner of Corporation Street and Marsh Lane and is further accentuated by the use of floor to ceiling height windows that serve the communal lounges from first to sixth floor. This gives the development prominence in this corner, thus making it identifiable on approach from the city centre towards this university locality.
“The feature corner also serves as a visual guide to the building as the reception is located immediately below it and the main entrance adjacent to it. The main entrance appears as a double height opening in the elevation and is visible from the western-most part of Marsh Lane as well along Corporation Street.
“The ground floor along Corporation Street is set back, facilitating a sense of openness along the footpath and serving as a gesture to the double height entrance. Corner windows encourage this pedestrian activity to permeate along Edward Street and Marsh Lane.
“The common area for the student development is located at ground floor thus providing an active frontage along Corporation Street. The development is proposed to have a masonry arcade that provides a rhythm across the elevation as well as visual screening between the street and common room.
“Although the buildings along Friargate do not have a single identifiable style they are commonly characterised by the increased ground floor frontages that serve as retail use and are of similar scale. This is maintained in the proposed development.”
Proposals to build on the site began in 2004 when a planning application to build a six-storey mixed use development were tabled but then withdrawn.
In 2006 planning permission for a 196 bedroom student accommodation block was approved, including a retail unit on the ground floor. But the financial crisis mothballed the scheme, which was granted an extension in 2011 but never came forward.
The Corporation Street plans come as work is about to begin on the Portergate development opposite on Friargate, creating boutique student flats and new retail units. While the University of Central Lancashire has announced it will be spending more than £20 million to build a new engineering building on its campus.
An accommodation statement in the Corporation Street plans says the UCLan Preston campus is expected to see an increase in student population during the next ten years.
The full plans are available to view on the city council website.
Anyone wishing to comment can do so via the website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 06/2014/0873 by Saturday 13 December.
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