Student flats plan for historic Lancaster quayside pump house

A historic Lancaster quayside pump house could be converted into student flats if councillors give the go-ahead to a new planning application.
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The former St George’s Pump House near the River Lune and Lancaster railway viaduct is understood to be the last remaining historic building of the former St George’s Works complex, with links to Lord Ashton and the city’s development as a port.

Applicant agent Nick Langford of London-based FRISIA Real Estate is seeking permission to change the use and convert part of the site off Abram Close, south of St George’s Quay.

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The old building is considered to be locally important, especially with its interior.

An artist's impression of the student flats plan for the former St George's Pump House, Lancaster.An artist's impression of the student flats plan for the former St George's Pump House, Lancaster.
An artist's impression of the student flats plan for the former St George's Pump House, Lancaster.

However, it failed an assessment for listed building status because it was considered not to be nationally important, according to a city council planning report.

The application seeks to build front and upward extensions to create 35 studio apartments for students with some communal spaces.

Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the proposals, with conditions and a legal agreement.

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A report states: “The setting of the Pump House as part of the wider St George’s Works has significantly altered in the last 15 years, with 149 houses built to the south and west, whilst to the north there is 419-unit student accommodation and ground floor ancillary commercial uses in four buildings, that are three to six storeys in height.

“Whilst the Pump House formed part of the latter consent, the approved conversion was never implemented. The site remains unaltered and in a dilapidated condition. The application site and the surrounding developments described are all within the Luneside East Development, a housing delivery allocation and wider regeneration priority area within the local plan. ”

The new plan seeks planning permission to build a single-storey glazed front extension and black metal-clad vertical extension above the existing walls to create four-storey student accommodation.

But objections or concerns have come from conservation officers, Lancaster & District Heritage Group and Lancaster Civic Society.

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The conservation team says the plans would "result in the almost total loss of significance” for the old building.

Other objections include the loss of potential recreation space and industrial history, question whether student flats are needed and the proposed new building’s height.

Lancaster city councillors will consider the application on Monday November 6 at Morecambe Town Hall.