One of the biggest recent developments in Preston’s history looks set for approval.Advertisement
Adelphi Square, by the University of Central Lancashire, would see a new flagship student centre building and the complete remodelling of the current Adelphi roundabout.
It follows the demolition of the university’s former Fylde building and plans show how seven properties in St Peter’s Street would also be knocked down to make way for the development.
The centre-piece of the university’s £200million campus masterplan the Adelphi Square scheme would see a new road layout and shared space introduced on the current road network.
Costing £60million the new student centre would be on the land formerly occupied by the Fylde building but also link with the current university library and rest of the campus.
Read more: Watch how Preston’s university campus will look by 2020
Planning officers at Preston City Council have recommended the scheme for approval – despite a number of strong objections.
National and local blind charities have joined forces to object to the creation of a second ‘shared space’ in the city. Fishergate was created as a shared space, with drivers due to give way to pedestrians – but many visually impaired people not say the centre of Preston is inaccessible to them.
Galloways Society for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind have both objected.
They state shared spaces ‘rely on eye contact between road users pedestrian and drivers’, ‘visually impaired people have expressed concern regarding the shared space’.
The charities also point out one area of the scheme sees pedestrians needing to cross a cycle path to access a bus stop – something they say would be ‘virtually impossible’ for a visually impaired person.
Read more: Here’s how the new Adelphi roundabout is due to work
The scheme also faces objections from United Utilities and the local flood authority.
United Utilities say they have ‘significant concerns with the submitted drainage strategy’.
While the local flood authority has objected saying the brownfield site doesn’t have adequate information in relation to surface water run off.
Planning officers write in their recommendation: “Objections have been received to this application and have been carefully considered. The proposed location of the development is within the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) area and the principle of the development is considered to be acceptable. It is considered that whilst the proposal would result in a major change to the appearance of the existing site, the proposed building and associated public realm would be of high quality design, and would completely regenerate the immediate area and deliver the main part of the University masterplan to improve the gateway to the University whilst also linking better to the City Centre. The proposed building would also achieve a high level of energy efficiency.
“The proposal would involve major re-modelling of the current road system around the Adelphi roundabout. It is considered that the changes the highway network would provide
for connections and linkages to the surrounding built environment for all highway users and that the scheme would be acceptable in terms of highway safety subject to conditions and the S278 Agreement. There are no private residential properties immediately adjoining the application site and the proposal is considered acceptable in terms of noise.
“The proposal is also considered to be acceptable in terms of ecology, preserving and enhancing the historic environment, ground contamination, waste management, and safety and security subject to conditions. The matter of drainage is still under consideration.”
Councillors are due to decide on the plans during the city council’s planning committee on Thursday (11 January) from 2.30pm at the Town Hall.
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