A new request to redevelop Harris Park for residential purposes has been submitted.
The plans would see existing buildings converted into housing, new homes built, and modifications to the entire site, including relocating the war memorial.
A previous app was blocked after the Friends of Harris Park campaign group fought to stop the redevelopment of the former orphanage, which is owned by multimillionaire Yousuf Bhailok.
Read more: Harris Park housing plans blocked by Preston City Council as campaigners declare victory
The new plans feature fewer new homes – down from 58 to 16 in the western part of the site and from eight to three near the orphanage. The request says numbers have been “reduced several times” during the pre-application process in order to “take into account the views of the agents and achieve a more comfortable density next to the historic orphanage” .
Despite this, the Friends of Harris Park have expressed disappointment with the new app.
Founding member of campaign group Prema Taylor said: “We are disappointed with these latest Harris Park development requests, which will have a significant impact on the character of this Grade II listed property, and clearly seek to remove all access by the community.
“We sincerely hoped to work with the owner to find a mutually beneficial way to reach a satisfactory solution, and we are in preliminary discussions with Councilor David Borrow asking him to consider including funding for the restoration project in the fund. leveling. We also approached the Preston Partnership in the same way.
“In particular, the owner’s request to move the war memorial and rebuild the wall displays a clear intention to create a private and gated community. This despite a right of way request based on a historic and informal passage that is pending with Lancashire County Council, which is unlikely to be considered until March 2022.
“We intend to make a strong objection to these apps and information on how to do this is on our Facebook page.”
Read more: Friends of Harris Park urge Preston City Council to use leveling fund to purchase site for community use
Historic England has also responded to the plans, saying it does not oppose the principle of the app as it would secure the future of listed buildings with active use.
However, the public body raises concerns about the planned landscaping work, and the possible impact on the “open and green nature and historic character of the site”. He is also urging planning officers to determine if there is sufficient justification for moving the war memorial, which he says could be “harmful.”
The full proposals are as follows:
- Conversion of the Chapel, School and Master’s House (the former Harris Conference Center) into three residential townhouses, including the installation of a mezzanine on the first floor of the chapel
- Conversion and renovation of Clayton Hall (formerly used as offices) into nine residential apartments
- Conversion and renovation of six individual villas (Glen Rosa, Oak House, Chestnuts, Poplars, Holly House, Laurels) for residential use, including extensions of Glen Rosa and Oak House
- Conservation of Ashleigh House and Beech House for continued residential use
- Conversion of the Gate Lodge for residential use, including the rear extension
- Conversion of Pond House to residential use, including demolition and replacement of modern rear extension
- Construction of three infill housing within the orphanage plot, including vehicle access and associated landscaping
- Demolition of unlisted buildings and structures including the Old Laundry Building, Old Workshop and Former Governor’s Office (Yewtree House)
- Various landscaping interventions within the orphanage plot including the removal of modern hard soil areas, the creation of pathways and private gardens in the backyard of residential properties. Maintaining the opening at the front of the properties facing the central green
- Removal of about 183 trees (including about 138 unsuitable for retention) offset by the planting of 600 new trees
- Relocation of the war memorial to the public-facing site boundary at Garstang Road, along with associated landscaping
- Construction of 16 high quality executive houses in the west plot oriented around a central green, along with access for vehicles, associated infrastructure and landscaping
In images, in pictures: Grade II listed Harris Park buildings in disrepair
Visit the Preston City Council website to learn more about the Residential Site Redevelopment Application (06/2021/1604) and Classified Building Permit (06/2021/1605).
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What do you think of the new plans? Let us know in the comments.