Plans submitted for Lancaster apartments scheme near city’s historic square

Proposals to create a development of 28 apartments in the heart of Lancaster city centre have been unveiled.

HPA has submitted a planning application for the scheme on behalf of applicant Fuelsmart Ltd.

The five-storey building would sit within the Lancaster City Conservation Area on a site bounded by the historic Dalton Square, Brock Street and Mary Street. A flexible design enables the development to be used as either high-quality student accommodation or as a luxury aparthotel.

It would see the façade and cinema foyer of 13 Dalton Square retained as part of the development while the dilapidated cinema auditorium to the rear would be demolished to make way for the new one and two-bedroom and studio apartments.

Andrew Walters, architect at HPA, said: “This is an innovative yet sympathetic design which enables us to revitalise a neglected building while helping Dalton Square retain its historic character.

“The original features within the former cinema foyer facing Dalton Square are in good condition and can be refurbished, while the façade of the building will be improved through a new, more vibrant shop-front.

“The new building will also provide a visual improvement to Mary Street which is to the rear of Dalton Square. As Lancaster-based architects, it’s a real privilege to be entrusted to work on this exciting project which can further enhance this part of the city centre.”

The new 15,590 sq ft apartment development will use stone cladding to match the appearance of other buildings in the vicinity. A flat roof, clad in zinc will also enable the building to blend with its surroundings.

The design also features angled walls on the south elevation to allow the scheme to take advantage of a variety of views while minimising overlooking issues. A courtyard and green wall of climbing plants will help provide privacy for neighbouring buildings.

The retail units adjacent to 13 Dalton Square and the existing apartments above it will not be altered by the new development.

The building at 13 Dalton Square was originally constructed as a cinema. Following the cinema’s closure in 1974 it has been variously used as a discotheque, bar and children’s soft play centre.

Unlike its neighbours at 11 and 12 Dalton Square the building is not listed but is designated locally as a heritage asset.

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