Preston Station Quarter vision revealed
Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council and UCLan have been working alongside BDP to draw up a regeneration framework aimed at transforming an underperforming area of the city centre.
The framework sets out a blueprint for how the Preston Station Quarter could be developed in future to bring jobs, improved connectivity, and upgraded public realm. Overall, the aim of the vision is to take advantage of the area’s position as a key gateway to the city.
Plans for grade A office space, an enhanced retail and leisure offer, and new housing, all feature within the plans.
“The Station Quarter does not currently fulfil its potential as a key gateway to the city and the region,” the framework states.
“[The framework] is a recognition of the strategic importance of Preston Station to the ongoing success of the city centre and of the potential for significant investment and development on several adjacent sites.”
The sites that could be in line for redevelopment include the Royal Mail Depot off Christian Road, the neighbouring Network Rail depot, Fishergate Centre, several surface car parks, and the former St Joseph’s Orphanage, among others.
The framework is split into four quadrants. University Walk and County Hill are located north of the station and Fishergate, while Station East and Station West are located south of Fishergate.
Currently, the four quadrants “fail to capitalise on the asset that is Preston Station”, due to a large amount of underused land and the poor quality of the urban realm.
Proposals and opportunities for each quadrant highlighted in the framework include:
- Station East – Could be “the catalyst for the area’s regeneration through the redevelopment of the dated Fishergate Centre”, according to the framework. In addition, there is “significant scope to introduce new city centre uses and create a transformational area of the city”
- University Walk – “should be a much stronger part of the city”, the framework said. The aim for this part of the site aims to link the key assets of the station and UCLan together, enhancing connections and public realm
- County Hill – is currently “isolated in a sea of surface car parking”, according to the framework. Here, there is scope to introduce new uses and urban realm
- Station West – This area could be used to expand and enhance the station for the arrival of HS2. Over the longer term, there may also be opportunities to redevelop yard areas and the Royal Mail site for new uses, the framework states.
The station itself is also in need of significant investment in order to contribute to, and capitalise on, the regeneration potential of the Station Quarter as a whole, according to the framework.
A four-week consultation on the proposals has now been launched.
“This draft framework outlines huge potential for this major gateway to Preston,” said Cllr David Borrow, cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council.
“Key working partnerships with Lancashire County Council, UCLan and stakeholders, create broader opportunities for Preston and allow greater regeneration in the city centre.”
Cllr Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth at Lancashire County Council, added: “This is a major gateway into the city and one which has significant potential to generate new jobs, prosperity and provide space for quality new homes.
“As well as driving economic growth in Preston, due to its excellent connectivity for rail and bus services, these new opportunities will also be accessible to people and businesses elsewhere in the county.”