Moor House, Portergate, c Virtual Planit

Portergate's Moor House secured a green light at Preston City Council's planning committee meeting. Credit: Virtual Planit

PLANNING | Preston solves 120-flat stalemate

Portergate Development’s plans for 120 apartments and Breck Homes’ 102 affordable housing project both received the green light during the city council’s planning committee meeting on Thursday.

Land at the junction of Moor Lane and Walker Street

  • Application number: 06/2023/0091

Portergate Developments’ application for a part 19-, part 5-storey block containing 120 apartments appeared before Preston City Council’s planning committee for the third time on Thursday – and was approved for the third time too.

The first approval for the future Moor House had been in July last year. At the time, the development was to be a build-to-rent complex.

Then, Portergate opted to swap the BTR element out for a fully open-market scheme. The council approved this on the condition of a Section 106 being agreed and a mechanism put in place for a viability review closer to the project completion. This would enable the city council to evaluate whether or not Portergate would need to supply some of the 30% affordable housing required in planning policy – as the application at present had no such provision because of viability concerns.

This clawback mechanism, however, proved trickier to agree than expected, necessitating the application’s return to committee. This time, the city council’s planning officers had come up with a different solution to the stalemate over what the viability review mechanism would look like.

Ditching that altogether, the new agreement would see Portergate make a full employment skills contribution of £6,000 and also pay £604,531 towards affordable housing offsite. This would amount to a 15% off-site affordable housing contribution, the city council officers stated.

It is that agreement that the planning committee voted in favour of.

The scheme itself focuses on a plot of land between Moor Lane and Walker Street in Preston. It has been designed by Buttress and includes 16 one-bedroom flats and 104 two-bedroom apartments. The project team includes Martin Planning, The Environment Partnership, and Ridge and Partners.

Sidgreaves Lane, Breck Homes, p planning documents

All homes would be available for affordable rent, planning officers said. Credit: via planning documents

Land to the east of Sidgreaves Lane in Cottam

  • Application number: 06/2023/0830

Breck Homes can move forward with its plans to deliver 102 affordable homes off Sidgreaves Lane in Cottom, now that the planning committee has given it the go-ahead.

The proposals include the building of 38 one-bed maisonettes as well as a series of semi-detached and terraced houses with between two and four bedrooms. All are to be available for affordable rent, according to the city council’s planning officer report.

Progress Housing Group will acquire the site after Breck finishes work on it.

The homes are to be built in two sections, separated by overhead power lines and public realm. The land is, at the moment, being used for grazing but is listed for housing in Preston’s local plan.

Mosaic Town Planning has been leading the planning effort for the scheme. The project team also includes IGE Consulting, United Environmental Services, Trevor Bridge Associates, Prime Transport Planning, Ironside Farrar, SurveyEng, and Echo Acoustics.

Read more about the project.

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