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Disappointment at fresh housing plans for Harris Park

Posted on - 19th December, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Housing, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
Harris Park Oak House design Pic: David Cox Architects
Existing buildings such as Oak House would be redeveloped as shown in this design Pic: David Cox Architects

A new application to redevelop Harris Park for residential use has been submitted.

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The plans would see existing buildings converted to housing, new homes built, and changes to the overall site including moving the war memorial.

A previous application was blocked after campaign group Friends of Harris Park battled to stop the redevelopment of the former orphanage, which is owned by multi-millionaire Yousuf Bhailok.

Read more: Harris Park housing plans blocked by Preston City Council as campaigners declare victory

The fresh plans feature fewer new houses – down from 58 to 16 in the western part of the site, and eight to three by the orphanage. The application states the numbers have been ‘repeatedly reduced’ through the pre-application process in order to ‘take on board the views of officers, and to achieve a density which sits more comfortably alongside the historic orphanage’.

Harris Park house type A Pic: David Cox Architects
New houses would also be added to the site Pic: David Cox Architects

Despite this, the Friends of Harris Park have expressed their disappointment at the new application.

Founder member of the campaign group Prema Taylor said: “We are disappointed at these latest applications to develop Harris Park, which will have a significant impact on the character of this Grade II listed property, and clearly seeks to remove any access to it by the community.

“We had sincerely hoped to work with the owner to find a mutually beneficial way to achieve a satisfactory solution, and are in preliminary talks with Councillor David Borrow requesting him to consider the inclusion of funding of the restoration project in the Levelling Up Fund. We have also similarly approached the Preston Partnership.

“In particular the owner’s application to move the war memorial and reconstruct the wall displays a clear intention to create a private, gated community. This is despite an application for a Right of Way based on historical, informal passage which is pending with Lancashire County Council, which is unlikely to be considered till March 2022.

“We intend to put forward a robust objection to these applications and information about how to do so are on our Facebook page.”

Read more: Friends of Harris Park urge Preston City Council to use Levelling Up Fund to buy site for community use

Historic England has also responded to the plans, saying it doesn’t object to the principle of the application because it would secure the future of the listed buildings with an active use. 

The public body does however raise concerns about planned landscaping works, and the possible impact on the ‘open and green nature and historic character of the site’. It also urges planning officers to consider whether there is enough justification to move the war memorial, which it says could be ‘harmful’.

An overhead view of the Harris Park application site Pic: Lichfields
An overhead view of the Harris Park application site Pic: Lichfields
The proposed site layout Pic: Lichfields
The proposed site layout Pic: Lichfields

The full proposals are as follows:

  • Conversion of the Chapel, School and Master’s House (the former Harris Conference Centre) for use as three residential townhouses, including installation of a first floor mezzanine to the Chapel
  • Conversion and refurbishment of Clayton Hall (formerly used as offices) for use as nine residential apartments
  • Conversion and refurbishment of six detached villas (Glen Rosa, Oak House, Chestnuts, Poplars, Holly House, Laurels) for residential use including extensions to Glen Rosa and Oak House
  • Retention of Ashleigh House and Beech House for continued residential use
  • Conversion of the Gate Lodge for residential use including rear extension
  • Conversion of Pond House to residential use including demolition and replacement of modern rear extension
  • Erection of three infill dwellings within the Orphanage Parcel, including associated vehicular access and landscaping
  • Demolition of non-listed buildings and structures including the former laundry building, former workshop and former governor’s office (Yewtree House)
  • Various landscape interventions within the Orphanage Parcel including the removal of modern areas of hardstanding, creation of footpaths and private garden areas in the rear curtilage of the residential properties. Retention of openness to the front of the properties facing the central green
  • Removal of circa 183 trees (circa 138 of which are unsuitable for retention) to be offset by the planting of 600 new trees
  • Relocation of war memorial to public facing boundary of site at Garstang Road, together with associated landscaping surround
  • Erection of 16 high-quality executive homes in the Western Parcel orientated around a central green, together with associated vehicular access, infrastructure and landscaping

In pictures: Grade II listed Harris Park buildings in state of disrepair

Visit the Preston City Council website for more on the application for the redevelopment of the site for residential use (06/2021/1604) and the listed building consent (06/2021/1605).


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What do you think of the new plans? Let us know in the comments.

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