Blackpool FC owner’s latest plan for Oyston Mill gets green light

A plan to turn Preston’s Oyston Mill into student flats, submitted by Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston, has been approved by the council.

Oyston plans to convert the building into 259 student flats and fully refurbish its exterior, including brickwork repairs and replacement windows. There are also plans to convert some of the building into a café, gym, and communal area for students.

Cassidy + Ashton is architect for the scheme.

The former lamp works, built in 1901, is owned by Oyston and was formerly home to the Oyston Group of Companies. A number of small firms, such as Interdec Fireplaces and JMS Textiles, still retain space on the ground floor.

Denwis, a developer headed up by Oyston, submitted plans for the development in June this year.

The conversion of the building into student flats is the latest plan for the mill, after Oyston submitted a planning application to turn the upper floors into luxury apartments in March 2014.

However, this application expired in August this year.

Oyston had also previously planned to demolish the building and replace it with two seven-storey residential buildings as well as offices and light industrial units. This planning application was finally disposed of in October last year.

The scheme was approved by planners despite concerns raised by Uclan’s director of student services, who said there was “not currently a demand for student accommodation” and added the site was “not located in close proximity to the main campus”.

Despite this, planning officers said the proposal was “considered to be an appropriate use within the existing building, and would bring an existing building that is largely vacant back into use”.

The planners’ report added: “The proposed student accommodation would also be sited in a sustainable location with good transport links to Preston City Centre, would be close to existing facilities, and within walking and cycling distance of the University.”

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