Fresh proposals for the 299-apartment development on Great Shaw Street are due to be considered at Preston City Council’s planning committee on Thursday, with a recommendation to approve.
ASSH lodged an outline application for the project in January 2018. Named LoftHaus, the tower included 300 rooms with a mix of studios and apartments. Alongside student beds the development will also have a private cinema, gym, study rooms, communal lounges, bike store and super-fast broadband.
Since the earlier application, the number of flats has been reduced by one apartment, and the tower increased in height by one storey to 21 storeys, after discussions with the council and design committees. The building is being marketed as a co-living opportunity, aimed at a mix of owner-occupiers, renters and students.
The project value has also increased, from £15m to £26m. Funding is expected to come from overseas investors.
The scheme will replace the existing Foresters’ Hall, which currently provides 27 student rooms. The building will be demolished as part of the proposals.
The development would be the city’s tallest residential building at 21 stories and its second tallest structure behind the Church of St Walburge.
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Preston-based property developer Shoyab Musa is behind the plans, which were designed by David Cox Architects, with planning advice from PWA Planning.
Musa said: “This development is aimed at professionals, students and modern renters who prefer to live in a fully-managed building and want a hassle-free renting experience.
“It’s the kind of development that’s been around in the Far East and the big cosmopolitan cities for years and has now taken off in the UK due to the way millennials are choosing to live. It’s about living with like-minded people and being part of a community.
“It’s a very modern, high-end product. There’s going to be features like a 24-hour concierge, cinema room, a roof garden, and a ‘mega-kitchen’ where residents can socialise and cook together.”
David Cox, founder of David Cox Architects, said: “Our brief was to produce a residential development to address an emerging need for co-living in Preston.
“While many of the flats will be suitable for conventional owner occupiers, it’s also aimed at people who might work in the city and commute home to other cities at weekends, as well as key workers and people on temporary contracts or short-term assignments. Students at UCLan are also likely to be occupiers.
“The idea is to provide space which is flexible enough to respond to changing and developing needs suggested by the people who use the building. It will create a new feature on the skyline of Preston and we have taken great care with the design to ensure the profile of the city is enhanced.”
The proposals have been revised following detailed consultations with Preston City Council, including two design review panels.
Shoyab Musa is also the co-founder and managing director of Kingswood Sales & Lettings, the Preston-based estate agency and property management company.