CGI of the district centre proposals approved in 2015

BXB on board in bid to make Cottam Hall happen

Development vehicle Cottam Hall Properties has entered into a joint venture with specialist BXB Land Solutions as it looks to realise long-held plans for a former brickworks site in Preston.

The Cottam Hall site, off Tom Benson Way, lies two miles north west of Preston city centre, alongside the Lancaster Canal. It was given outline consent for retail and housing development by Preston Council in 2012, including a 47,000 sq ft supermarket, close to 200 homes and a business park of 45,000 sq ft.

In 2015 the scheme was resubmitted by planner De Pol Associates, including retail outlets, a pub, a restaurant, a petrol filling station and a crèche. The blueprint also included a health centre, which could accommodate a GP surgery and a pharmacy. The development as proposed then totalled 100,000 sq ft.

Cottam Hall Properties submitted a reserved matters application for 93 homes at the site in February this year, which were unanimously approved. The application also asked for full permission for a futher 21 units, on the part of the site previously set aside for the marina, meaning the density of residential has been reduced from 206 to 114. However, the commercial part of the scheme has not progressed.

Gary Goodman, director at BXB, said: “Having entered into this joint venture with Cottam Hall properties, we are wasting no time in trying to understand why this key site hasn’t been delivered for the benefit of the local community.

“Our first task will be to liaise with key stakeholders and review all the work undertaken to date. The responsibility then falls to us to evaluate the site and appraise the current market trends to formulate a viable, deliverable and creditable masterplan.

“All of the land that has been developed recently in the area has been greenfield, so it’s not surprising that this brownfield site hasn’t come forward in the same manner and speed that the greenfield sites have.

“As with any brownfield site, it is not without its challenges, however, we are confident that by working with key stakeholders this site can be successfully delivered for the benefit of the local community within a two-year timeframe.”

Documents filed with Companies House state that Cottam Hall Properties registered a change of name to BXB Cottam Properties on 29 June. Goodman and Julian Haigh, the commercial director of John Turner Construction, were appointed as directors on the same day.

The Cottam Hall Properties team as listed on its website includes Northpoint Developments, headed by Guy Illingworth, as development manager, John Turner Construction, Cassidy + Ashton as architect, Fairhurst as civil and environmental engineer and Woolerton Dodwell Associates as landscape architect.

Goodman, formerly of McCarthy & Stone and English Partnerships, set up strategic land business BXB in 2016, doing its first deal on a former mill site in High Peak. The site now has consent for 165 homes.

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Cottam Hall is happening; ask Storey Homes and Barratt Homes.

By Valentine Way