Falconer Chester Hall Lawson Street student accommodation

Planning permission approved for Lawson Street, Preston

Planning consent for 227 studio apartments on Lawson Street in Preston city centre has been secured for client Caro Developments, at the committee meeting on 8th June.

The Falconer Chester Hall-designed scheme sits just south the main UCLAN campus and aims to provide a ‘missing piece’ of Preston’s purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) offer to students, says Caro managing director Neil Carlyle.

“In a post-pandemic world students want their homes to contribute to how they study, to their leisure time and, as important, to their health and wellbeing.  We’ve sought to address these needs head-on and these will be the only homes of their type in the city,” said Carlyle.

The development, rising from seven to nine stories, includes a gym, study zone, games room, lobby, laundry room, cycle storage and cinema.  There is also a landscaped rooftop garden for residents’ use.

The scheme, to be operated by the developer’s own student living brand, Caro Student Living, will offer a more ‘pastoral’ management regime that addresses students’ focus on togetherness and sociability.

“Without carefully thought-out developments like this which support students’ wellbeing Preston risks losing out if its offer fails to keep pace with the market.  The planning committee recognised this, and I am delighted with their decision,” added Mr Carlyle.

Project architect Robert Brym, associate director at Falconer Chester Hall, said the brief ‘sat naturally’ with the practice, given its experience in the PBSA sector.

“We have designed over 7,000 student beds across the UK and so took the brief in our stride. This was always about quality and performance, not numbers, and we are pleased to have designed such a well-received scheme.”

Zerum acted as planning consultants for the project, with LDA Design advising on landscape.

Neil Carlyle added: “Preston is going through the gears and it’s a good time to invest in the city. We’re actively looking for more sites of this type, here and in other mid-sized conurbations that have perhaps been overlooked in recent times.”

The site was part of Preston’s former police headquarters and had previously achieved consent for a student cluster scheme.