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A new future for Ribchester House – but solicitors say they will stay in the city centre

Posted on - 15th May, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Housing, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
Ribchester House, before the Market Hall car park demolition took place Image: Google

Plans have been submitted to convert a landmark office block in Preston city centre into 36 apartments.

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Ribchester House overlooks Preston Crown Court and houses Forbes Solicitors.

Preston City Council has received an application to covert the six-storey office block into apartments, after the building went on the market for £1.6m.

The plans include 30 one bedroom apartments and six two bedroom homes, with additional parking spaces.

And while the future of Forbes’ Preston offices in the building remains uncertain, the firm – which has had a presence in Preston for more than three decades, says it intends to keep an office in the city centre.

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Daniel King, managing partner at Forbes Solicitors, said: “Forbes Solicitors has had a long connection with the Preston area, having had an office in the city centre for over 30 years.

“The firm continues to show strong growth year-on-year and we now employ around 400 people.

“We continually review our office requirements and in May 2016 we opened our Oak House offices at Walton Summit and in Autumn last year we extended our presence at the business park with the opening of additional offices in Gordon House.

“Walton Summit provides us with workspaces that suit the collaborative and cross-practice working of our different legal teams and the Preston-based location has excellent transport links.

“The offices are ideally positioned to effectively service our growing portfolio of clients across Lancashire, the North West and nationally.

“Although Forbes has occupied Ribchester House on Ringway for more than 20 years, our continued presence there depends on the plans of the landlord who we understand may wish to change the use of the building to align with the retail and leisure development that is taking place around the building.

“Even if this is the case, we fully intend to maintain a significant presence in the city centre for the foreseeable future.”

Read more: See the latest redevelopment news in Preston

Preston City Council’s planning committee will consider the proposed change of use for Ribchester House.

In 2017 the council announced its City Living strategy which aims to create “homes for the people who want to live in the beating heart of the city and live, work and play in Preston.”

Ribchester House falls within the Harris Quarter – one of six identified areas of the city centre earmarked for development.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

What do you think about the plans for Ribchester House? Let us know in the comments section.

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