City church going up in the world

How the new Mission and flats could look
How the new Mission and flats could look

A city centre church could be demolished and rebuilt with 78 flats above it.

Plans have been submitted to replace the Preston City Mission, which has been holding services in an old wooden building in Corporation Street since 1900.

A developer wants to incorporate the church into a towering eight-storey block next door to the Premier Inn which looks out onto Ringway.

The plans include provision for retail, or a restaurant/cafe, or a wine bar on the ground floor and mezzanine level, with one and two-bedroom apartments above. The application is the latest in a raft of “city living” projects being envisaged for central Preston, in addition to student accommodation blocks which have been springing up in and around the university quarter further up Corporation Street.

Preston City Mission, which is run by an independent Christian fellowship, dates back to Victorian times and has its roots in the railway industry. It began as the Railway Mission on the platforms of Preston Station and moved into its current home at the turn of the last century.

The latest plans come seven years after Preston Council gave permission for the church to be flattened and replaced by a 13-storey building including 62 student flats. That project didn’t get off the ground and a new application has been submitted for private apartments.

A planning statement to the council said: “This is a key town centre site and our intention is that redevelopment will provide a mix of uses that will compliment the existing city centre, providing new dwellings and activating a currently under-used square.”

The project, which will be one floor higher than the adjacent hotel, will include 60 one-bed flats and 18 two-bed.