Plans to develop a bar and diner constructed from brightly coloured shipping containers has been approved for a site in Preston’s student quarter. The state-of-the-art hospitality venue looks set to be a vibrant addition to the area, with converted shipping containers painted pink and orange.

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that the ‘contemporary and unique’ scheme, has been approved for development on a plot of land on Moor Lane, in the heart of the student accommodation area of the city.

It will comprise two storeys and will become home to four different food and drink retailers providing a wide range of menus, and features indoor and outdoor seating areas for customers, similar to Manchester’s Hatch – which boasts more than 30 independent traders selling food, drink, clothes, and other quirks

There will also be a rooftop terrace featuring high-tensile fabric canopies set above the ‘high-quality, modern shipping container-style’ hospitality outlets, with one container set at an angle of 33º to provide a staircase to the roof terrace.

Controversially, approval has been granted, despite the bar/diner will be sited on a grass verge, which will be purpose-built for the development, that is directly opposite a row of five shops and residential flats.

Preston-based Recall Properties Ltd submitted plans to the local council in early 2021, and planning chiefs gave their approval in the last couple of weeks, following amendments to the original plans.

A report to the planning department said: “This development proposes a unique opportunity to widen the range of food and drink services in Preston, particularly benefiting the vibrant student population within the immediate area, whilst encouraging an environmentally sustainable development on a vacant and underutilised parcel of land.”

Recall Properties has said that it aims to create ‘unique and inviting eating space with functional seating areas for users of the proposed eateries.’

Despite the location of the site, and its proximity to existing residential and retail properties, the council only received one letter of objection to the scheme, with the sender citing ‘unacceptable impact on visual amenity by reason of poor design.’

Strict noise and food odour mitigation measures will be put in place, says the developer, to ensure that the venue does not pose a menace or a nuisance for local residents.

The venue has been granted opening hours of 8 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday and 9 am to 10 pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and a maximum occupancy of 75 people within the establishment at any one time has been imposed by officers from the city’s environmental health department.

The scheme is one of the latest ideas for hospitality venues in the city, home to the University of Central Lancashire, Preston College, and Myerscough College, to boost the university’s student accommodation quarter, which has been viewed as the city’s latest ‘go-to’ area, as redevelopment continues apace.


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