A former orphanage owned by Preston’s multi-millionaire Yousuf Bhailok could become a new housing development.Advertisement
Harris Park, off Garstang Road, Fulwood, is currently a gated set of luxury houses within the confines of the grade-II listed orphanage.
Plans tabled by planning consultants Cassidy + Ashton on behalf of the Bhailok family’s Eden Grove Properties Limited show how dozens of new homes could be built on the private land and recreation ground.
58 new detached homes would be built to the side and rear of the orphanage.
The former orphanage building, which became a conference centre for UCLan for a number of years, would be converted to become flats along with the nearby Clayton Hall – with nine apartments and three town houses.
The current detached dwellings, lived in by Bhailok and family, would be refurbished and eight additional ‘executive style’ detached properties would be built in-fill between existing buildings.
The Pond House and garage would be demolished as part of the proposals.
An overhead view of the site shows there would be an additional entrance and exit from the Harris Park site created into Garstang Road.
Harris Park’s orphanage building is grade-II listed and is within a conservation area which places strict limits on development within it.
In 2013 the city council’s planning committee approved three new homes on the site, as well as changes and extensions to some of the villas within the Harris Park. The proposals faced a large number of objections from nearby residents.
As well as outline planning permission for the new homes, a separate application has been lodged for listed building consent.
Cassidy + Ashton write in planning documents: “The proposals represent a high quality scheme.
“The redevelopment of the vacant recreation ground and existing buildings represents an opportunity to provide for the borough a mix of housing of different size, type and affordability to meet current and future need.”
Read more: Sumners housing and community centre plans approved despite objections
You can view the full plans on the Preston City Council website.
Mr Bhailok placed the Harris Park site on the market in October 2018, with a price tag rumoured to be £10million.
In 1877 Edmund Robert Harris, a wealthy lawyer from Preston, left £300,000 to the city to set up a philanthropic trust in memory of the Harris family.
Harris Park Orphanage was built as part of the donation, in a Barnardo’s-style village homes orphanaghe. The donation also helped to build the Harris Library and the Harris Institute of Literature, Art, Science and Technical Education (now UCLan).
Lancashire County Council took on operating the site, under lease, in 1940 as a children’s home.
It closed in 1982 and was then bought by Preston Polytechnic, the forerunner of the University of Central Lancashire.
The university then sold the site to Yousuf Bhailok in 2006.
Read more: St Joseph’s Orphanage housing plans set for approval
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
What do you think about the plans for Harris Park? Let us know in the comments below