This was announced today:
Cool eh? Gorgeous curvy tower in our little city! Hopefully it will get built.Giant glass tower plan
SPARKLING: Thge glass landmark which developers want to create in Preston city centre
A forgotten corner of Preston city centre is on the brink of a multi-million pound revamp, the Evening Post reveals today.
Developers want to pump millions of pounds into creating a striking 24-storey glass tower on the edge of Ringway which would house a hotel and leisure centre, offices and apartments.
Elsewhere in the site, behind the existing Homebase store, there would be a huge supermarket, petrol station, shops, car showroom, affordable housing, restaurant and bars.
Manchester-based firm Brookhouse Group Ltd has submitted the outline plans to Preston Council, designed by Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton.
It wants to bulldoze a six-hectare site on land bounded by Stanley Street, Church Street, Grimshaw Street and
Queen Street, creating hundreds of jobs. The tower block would house a 106-bedroom hotel and leisure centre on the lower levels, along with offices. The upper levels would contain 65 apartments and a continuation of the hotel, which would enjoy spectacular views from double-glazed balconies.
The Homebase store would be retained, while the Mercedes garage would be redesigned and relocated elsewhere on the site.
Other businesses, including a haulage firm and Bensons for Beds, are in talks with the developers about moving off of the site, currently seen as an "uninviting barrier" between the city centre and residential areas on New Hall Lane, Avenham and Frenchwood.
Peter Harris, project architect and a partner at Cassidy and Ashton, said: "We wanted to have something significant on this corner which would act as a sign of Preston coming into its new city status because it's a very prominent site and a gateway to Preston.
"With the hotel building, we wanted to create something really striking, but simple. We feel it would give a real lift to the whole city centre.
"It will be something very modern that really uses very innovative architecture and materials.
"It high but we've tried to break the mass of it down and we've set it back from the road. The plans are designed to complement the Tithebarn proposals when they take hold – we're trying to achieve something very positive for Preston and something that's exciting.
"The supermarket hasn't been identified as a particular user, but there's been a lot of interest."
An archway fronting Church Street would entice shoppers from the city centre into the new development, which will include traditional, mill-type buildings on one side and more modern developments opposite.
The supermarket would be glass-fronted and 10,221 square metres in size, including a cafe.
Similar to the Tithebarn plan which borders the site, the proposals include a series of city squares, urban spaces, public art and pavement cafes to ensure day and night-time uses.
Brookhouse already owns a large part of the land but is in talks to acquire the remainder from existing businesses, which include industry, retail and some offices. A number of the units are vacant.
In their design statement, the architects describe the site as "an underused, neglected and unappealing part of the city".
Mike Hartley, a partner at Cassidy and Ashton, based on East Cliff, Preston, said the plans had been two and a half years in the making.
He added: "We've had extensive discussions with Preston City Council planning department prior to the application being made."
Mr Hartley said it was too early to say exactly how many jobs would be created or how much the development would cost.
Listed buildings in the area, including the Olde Bell pub on Church Street and Grimshaw Street School, will be preserved. The plans are now available for public consultation.
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11 April 2005