St Augustine’s Conservation Area in Preston city centre to be scrapped

Posted on - 2nd February, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, History, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
St Augustine's Church when it was still standing

St Augustine’s Church when it was still standing

A historic part of Preston city centre may no longer be protected by stringent planning laws.


St Augustine’s Conservation Area in the streets around what was the old church has been designated since December 1986.

Now councillors are to be asked to remove this special status, which limits development, as Preston City Council say the area has lost a large part of its original layout and character.

In a report, due to be discussed at a full meeting of the council on Thursday, planning officers write: “St. Augustineā€™s Conservation Area was designated on 2nd December 1986. At that time, English Heritage, now Historic England, was in position to consider providing financial aid for local planning authorities towards schemes for conservation, such as repairs to St
Augustineā€™s Church.

“The designation of St. Augustineā€™s as a conservation area was therefore, in the main, part of a long-term strategy to try to save the Church. Unfortunately, despite the designation of the conservation area, no grant assistance was awarded and the Church was in such a deteriorated state that it was beyond practicable and economic repair.”

Related: 1980s Preston revealed in long-lost pictures

Historic England have lent their support to the proposal.

The construction work at St Augustines

The construction work at St Augustines

Darren Ratcliffe, historic places adviser, has visited the area.

He said: “From my visit I also question the heritage significance of this conservation area, I left with no real sense of place or defined boundary.

“The area has clearly been subject to demolitions, harmful change and loss to architectural detail since its original designation.

“Most disappointing has been the substantial demolition of St Augustine’s church itself (former grade II listed) with only its frontage now retained in an altered form.

“Personally, I commend Preston for being prepared to take such a bold step, it is appropriate for you to focus scarce time and financial resource to other areas of perhaps greater heritage need.”

Buildings around the St Augustine's area

Buildings around the St Augustine’s area

Past Larkhill (f)

The Victorian Society has however taken an alternative view and objects to the areas de-designation.

They state in responses to the city council they believe the area retains its special interest.

Preston council meet on Thursday 4 February from 2pm at the Town Hall. The full report regarding the conservation area can be found on the city council website.

What do you think of the report? Do you live in the area? Did you used to live in the area? Let us know in the comments below

Preston in pictures Bike ridePreston OdeonPreston OdeonUntitled331_013-01331_009-02331_023-01Preston Odeon Fire View more Advertisement Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's weekly newsletter. It wings its way into inboxes every Sunday rounding up our best content from the last week and a look ahead to what's happening.

Advertisement News by location

Find news by location, select an area of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

Advertisement Categories

Find news by category, select an category of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.