Cottam Hall project put back a year

Michael Hunt

Plans for an £80m regeneration project to be built on the site of the former Cottam Hall brickworks have been put on hold for at least a year by the developer.

In a strongly worded statement issued today developer Ian Rankin said: "We are clearly disappointed to have missed the planning committee meeting of 30 November. This will result in a delay of one year in the execution of the project. We do appreciate, though that the various concerns have to be addressed. It is unfortunate that this did not happen in the long period before submission when the information was available and had been circulated.

"I think everyone should be aware that the project is already carrying heavy contributions to the public purse, to public amenity and to the environment.

"Circumstances now are very different from those when the project was conceived. A line has to be drawn under the demands made on this project. It may already have to be deferred and further demands can only increase that possibility.

"Major benefits have to be borne in mind to give perspective to expensive wish list items. The Cottam Hall development will provide many hundreds of jobs at a time when they are most needed. It will provide a rare quality of life for hundreds of new residents and raise the quality of life in neighbouring communities. It will ensure the survival of a protected species which would otherwise become extinct. It will provide a rare education in the natural world for schools and community.

"Further hurdles should be very carefully considered before being put in the path of this project."

Rankin said the public giveaways included payments to Lancashire County Council and the Homes and Communities Agency in addition to the "provision of a bus route, a marina, footpaths and cycleways," as well as "provision and management of a nature reserve".

A spokeswoman for Preston City Council's planning members confirmed the application by Cottam Hall Properties was not discussed when contacted by Place this week.

The proposals include a Tesco store of 47,000 sq ft, 155 apartments overlooking the Marina, 17 three-storey townhouses, and 20 two-storey family homes. There is also a business park of 45,060 sq ft and ancillary restaurants and shops planned.

The derelict 28 acres comprise one of Preston's largest strategic sites. Officers are still to iron out issues over ecology at the brownfield site with the developers.

Cottam Hall Properties is a joint venture between John Clarke, managing director of John Turner & Sons, and Rankin, former chairman of John Turner. The JV has owned the site for 12 years.

John Turner & Sons, which employs 250 people in Preston and Manchester, will deliver the project as the main contractor. Eckersley is letting agent on Cottam Hall.

Your Comments

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Living on the doorstep to this proposed scheme, that is the best Christmas present I could have hoped for. Why spoil one of the city’s best areas with yet more urban sprawl? This is not the right site

By Daniel Moore

Joking aren’t you?? the place is derelict and is a haven for vandals etc….

By Emma Airey

Cottam Hall website is

By Anonymous

Better a haven for vandals, rather than queing each night trying to get home through the Tesco traffic. I think the site should be developed, just not a large supermarket; the roads just can’t take it. Look what it’s done to Eastway & Preston Docklands. Do we really want that? I appreciate the benefits to the scheme, but the developer is only concerned with cash at the end the day; this is clearly evident in Mr Rankin’s statement above.

By Daniel Moore

Merry Christmas Daniel. You’re a right bah, humbug aren’t you! Of course the developer would be interested in money but isn’t this an enhancement to what is a dilapidated area? From what Rankin is saying is what all hurdles developers seem to have to face these days, the environment bodies and clearly this has been the stumbling block for this project!! So, come on, we’ll keep the vandals out shall we.

By Sue

What everyone seems to have missed is the site across the road is allocated for retail in the PRESTON CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED LOCAL PLAN. That cannot be changed except by the Government Planning Inspector. Cottam Retail Site is also subject to The New Towns Ac 1981 Section 7 (1) and this can only be varied by the Secretary of State. By all means develop COTTAM retail but not on the old brickwork site (which is in INGOL), which also has a designation of Bilogical Heritage Site (BHS) … it isn’t just wasteland… (nor does it qualify as a ‘brownfield site’) and just what are the vandals gong to vandalise on this old cleared site? Put Tescos across the road and develop this site for the Community… library, youth centre, indoor sports, housing, community centre, no problem. (Just where are all the jobs coming from that are always quoted… the figure changes in every quote, Tesco says 300 jobs (part-time) and developer says 700, 800+ jobs… just how many?) AND who apart from Councillor Hudson, leader of the Council, will use the marina?

By rogerb152