Hundreds protest over Gillow flats plan in Lancaster

The Gillow Quarter site
The Gillow Quarter site

Hundreds of people have objected to proposals to convert the former Gillow showroom in Lancaster into student flats.

Lancaster University Student Union (LUSU) said that over 600 people, many of them students, had lodged objections to the plans, fearing it would have a detrimental impact on university nightclub The Sugarhouse.

Applicant Cityblock said that noise reduction measures had been built into the plans, but LUSU Vice President Tom Stapleton said the application had “really touched a nerve amongst the Lancaster community”.

Multi-million pound plans have been submitted to convert the North Road building into 90 student cluster flats.

Lancaster City Council is also proposing to sell St Leonard’s House for student accommodation, although the decision has since been called in by the overview and scruting committee, the Lancaster Guardian can reveal.

Wider reaching plans to develop a “Gillow Quarter” incorporating the two buildings and others in close proximity, with a residential element, have failed to get off the ground.

Lancaster Civic Society said it welcomed the buildings being brought back into use, but warned of the creation of “student ghettos” in the city, and suggested using part of the site as low cost homes for single working people. 

Lancaster developer Cityblock, which owns the former Gillow showroom, has applied for permission to convert the building with a glass facade at the rear.

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