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University square apartment scheme affordable housing wrangle set for approval

Posted on - 25th March, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Friargate, Preston City Centre, Preston News, University campus
Artist impressions of how the new Moor Lane and Walker Street tower block will look

Plans for a new apartment block close to the city’s university campus will return to councillors for a decision a third time.

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Portergate Developments is wanting to build a 19-storey block of 120 flats at the junction of Moor Lane and Walker Street by the Adelphi Square.

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The developers have been stuck in a legal wrangle with the city council over the affordable housing element of gaining permission.

Read more: Preston City Council and Onward Homes strike deal for Horrocks Mill social housing

Now council officers are recommended the revised scheme is approved as long as Portergate make a payment of more than £600,000 towards providing off-site affordable housing.

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This means all 120 of the proposed flats would be rented on the open market to make the scheme viable.

Council officers write: “Due to the protracted negotiations over the complexity of the review mechanism, officers were able to suggest an alternative to the applicant in order to draw the matter to a satisfactory close and an alternative agreement has been reached to make the development acceptable in policy terms. On this basis it is considered the Planning Committee should consider the planning application afresh before the decision is issued.”

Read more: Extra level added to plans for long-mooted Preston skyscraper

The scheme was previously heard in July and November by councillors with approval being granted.

Currently an empty patch of land after a gas training centre was demolished in 2017 the new building would stand 19-storeys tall with a five-floor storey building adjoining it.

CGI - View across University Square
CGI – View across University Square of the proposed new tower

Properties within the building would be rental-only apartments – with a covenant added stopping them being sold for residential use for the next 30-years.

Blog Preston approached Portergate for comment but a spokesperson said they would make comment after the planning committee meeting.

Read more: Preston property management firm claims Friargate roadworks have damaged business and buildings

Councillors are due to meet on Thursday (28 March) to consider the latest proposals.

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