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Historic Preston building could be extensively refurbished into apartments

Posted on - 30th March, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, Winckley Square
9-10, Chapel Street
9-10, Chapel Street

A 225-year-old building in Preston city centre which functioned as townhouses for just the first few decades of its existence could be returned to its residential roots after nearly two centuries.

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Plans have been submitted to convert the Grade II-listed structure on Chapel Street – which was in use as solicitors office until 18 months ago – into ten apartments.

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The blueprint would involve the extensive refurbishment of the building, as well as some demolition work in order to restore it to the original footprint it occupied when it was constructed as a pair of domestic properties off Winckley Square.

Read more: New Moor Lane flats given go-ahead as developer agrees to £600k payment

The space created would allow for the introduction of a private amenity area and bike and bin storage facilities to service what would be six one-bedroomed studios and four two-bed apartments.

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The plans have emerged just a month after the building next door – also a former solicitors – saw its own apartment conversion completed.  Fourteen high-end dwellings branded as “Park Place” were created after a near £1m refurbishment by Branco Capital.

According to documents lodged with Preston City Council on behalf of the applicant for the latest proposal, HB Investments (NW) Ltd., the changes planned as part of the renovation would be both “sensitive and justifiable” for a property that sits within the Winckley Square Conservation Area.

To that end, it is proposed to make the reinstatement of the historic fabric of the building and its “highly significant heritage elements” a priority.

Examples include the reintroduction of timber sash windows and the original pattern of openings, chimney breasts and staircases.   Partition walls would be replaced and historic party walls either reinstated or retained.

The planning application states that the work will “predominantly target [the] post-1946 areas of the existing fabric, where heritage significance is minimal”.

Having been built at the turn of the 19th century, 9-10 Chapel Street had already morphed from a prestigious private residence into other uses by the mid-1830s.  At that point, number 9 housed the office of a Mr. Startifant, who was possibly a solicitor.

By 1853, number 10 was occupied by a photographic gallery before being converted into a surgeon’s office a short time later.

A mix of commercial and professional ventures found a base within the property in the decades to come – and right through to the present day.

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