Preston clears way for 124 city centre flats

A Section 106 agreement has been signed between the city council and developer Wansfell for an 11-storey apartment block off Tithebarn Street – more than a year after the project was approved at committee.

The delay was focused on affordable housing, which is not provided in the plans from Isle of Man-based Wansfell because of viability concerns.

Accordingly, the developer and Preston City Council have agreed on having a viability review of the project before a quarter of the flats are occupied. If it is found that there is a surplus in funds, then a contribution will be made towards off-site affordable housing provision and/or education services.

The apartment block, known as Tithebarn Gateway, was priced at costing £15.9m by planning consultant Lambert Smith Hampton in 2022. Its gross development value was listed at £16.5m. Adding in a benchmark land value, LSH estimated that the scheme would only deliver 4% profit – well below the 20% profit level that is usually sought.

Preston City Council’s planning committee voted to approve the outline application for the project in July last year. The scheme was designed by NW Architects and comprises 82 one-bedroom flats, 37 two-bedroom ones, and five three-bedroom apartments. The project also includes 2,000 sq ft of retail on the ground floor.

Hydrock advised on daylight, noise, transport, sustainability, drainage, geo-environmental and geotechnical data, waste management strategy, wind microclimate, and ecology.

A reserved matters application is now due to be approved by the city council before work can begin.

You can learn more about the project by searching application reference number 06/2022/0310 on Preston City Council’s planning portal.