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Latest Harris Park in Fulwood housing plans trigger hundreds of objections

Posted on - 31st October, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Cadley, Fulwood, Housing, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, Sharoe Green
An overhead view of the Harris Park application site Pic: Lichfields
An overhead view of the Harris Park application site Pic: Lichfields

Controversial plans to build a housing development in the grounds of a grade II listed former orphanage in Harris Park has been updated and will be presented before Preston City Council this week.

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Multi-millionaire property tycoon, Yousuf Bhailok, submitted plans to bring residential properties to the Fulwood location starting back in 2009, although the local community and Friends of Harris Park campaign group have repeatedly refused the idea due to the historic importance of the site.

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Since November 2021, the application has been amended again to take on board common concerns, by reducing the number of homes proposed on the western parcel from 16 to 14, on the eastern parcel from three to two, and increase the amount of open space, soft landscaping and planting proposed.

Read more: Disappointment at fresh housing plans for Harris Park

Harris Park, the former orphanage, stands off Garstang Road in Fulwood Pic: Tony Worrall
Harris Park, the former orphanage, stands off Garstang Road in Fulwood Pic: Tony Worrall

The proposed extension to Glen Rosa has also been reduced, and Yew Tree House is now proposed to be retained. Initial plans to re-locate the war memorial from the front of the School House to join Garstang Road have also been removed from the scheme.

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More than 300 letters of objection from 286 households were received, the details of which can be summarised as follows:

  • The potential for substantial harm to heritage assets, including the relocation of the war memorial;
  • The site is of historical importance;
  • The listed buildings should retain their original features and be preserved as examples of the architecture of the period;
  • The proposed development would have an adverse impact on the setting of the listed buildings;
  • The proposal would result in a detrimental loss to the character and appearance ofthe Grade II listed registered park and garden; and
  • The proposals are contrary to local and national planning policy.

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The County Historic Environment Team objected on the grounds that the proposals are considered to be an ‘unsympathetic overdevelopment’ of the Harris Orphanage Park, and would cause an ‘unacceptable level of harm’ to the Registered Park and Garden and Conservation Area.

Councillor Fiona Duke, representing the Greyfriars ward, said: “The creation of new dwellings adjacent to the existing buildings will detract from their setting and would fundamentally change the character of the listed buildings. The proposal would have a significant impact on the cricket pitch which would be lost.”

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On the other hand, Historic England, has no objections to the principle of converting the majority of the historic buildings to residential uses.

A spokesperson said: “To safeguard the significance of the park and garden and conservation area hard and soft landscaping and boundary treatments should be controlled by condition.

“There are some concerns with the development of the western parcel of the site however it is acknowledged that this impact would be focussed in an area that makes a lesser contribution to the significance of the registered park and garden.”

A meeting will be held before Preston City Council’s Planning Committee, on Thursday 3 November, to discuss the planning application.

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