Two Preston homeowners have expressed their dismay at a large new block of student flats going up near the university.Advertisement
Residents in St Walburges Gardens have been watching the Jubilee Court development rise up near Fylde Road.
Dianne Cardwell, 63, and her husband Keith, retired to their bungalow in the shadow of St Walburges five years ago.
She said: “We didn’t know a thing about it until they started pile driving.
“Some of the residents across the way complained and they switched to another method.”
Dianne and Keith claim they did not receive any consultation about the development, despite the top two floors of flats being able to overlook their garden and conservatory.
Dianne said: “It’s just the size of it. It’s completely changed the skyline.
“We don’t feel we’ll be able to sit outside now. We love our garden and spend most of the summer out here. This is our home. We bought it and didn’t know anything like that (the block of flats) would come along.
“We know residents on the other side of the railway line received letters, but there was nothing here. Although we’re on the opposite side of the railway you can see the size of it and how it overlooks us.”
Another property on the road has their front door, kitchen window and whole conservatory facing the Jubilee Court development.
Dianne said the property’s owner had to buy blinds costing more than £1,000 for their conservatory once the scale of the 244-bedroom building became apparent.
The £13 million development is due to be finished in the summer ahead of a new university term in September.
Plans for Jubilee Court were originally refused before revised plans were approved in 2014. The colour scheme of the building had to be changed after a 29-name petition against a ‘garish’ green and yellow cladding.
Councillor Carl Crompton, who represents the University ward, said there had been issues with the site for a number of years.
He said: “I remember when it first came to planning committee in 2008 and we opposed it then.
“I was on the planning committee and I raised my objections. It’s just too big and too close to residents.
“However, it was passed. Then the financial crash happened and they couldn’t raise the money to build it.
“But the previous applicant sold on the permission and now it’s going up.
“We’ve been working hard to make sure residents issues are heard. The company were piledriving and it was causing issues, particularly on Tuson Drive where their rooms were vibranting.
“So we got a site visit and the developers changed their piling technique and it was much better.”
Cllr Crompton said Keith and Dianne wouldn’t have been consulted as the original plans were approved in 2008, long before they moved in.
He said: “It’s unfortunate, but the company have been working with residents to try and minimise the impact. The windows will only open 30 degrees for example and also be obscured so the students don’t look directly out onto people’s homes and gardens.”
Do you live in the area? What do you think of the scheme? Let us know in the comments below