Larches House is About to Undergo a Huge Redevelopment
Larches House is a red-brick mansion sitting in six acres of grounds, originally built for wealthy banker John Lawe, a prominent Ashton resident, in 1838.
The building dates to the start of Queen Victoria’s reign when Preston was a successful railway and textile manufacturing town. The mansion was classed a Grade II Listed Building in 1991 and retains many of its original features, including sash windows, fireplaces and an open-well staircase with an ornate mahogany handrail. It formed part of Larches House School for some years but has stood empty since Lancashire County Council transferred the special needs facility in 2017.
Larches House Multi-Million Pound Redevelopment
Michael Patel, the owner of Preston business Sapphire Utility Solutions, bought the 182-year-old estate in April and plans to redevelop the mansion. His plan is to convert the mansion into luxury apartments with affordable housing being built on site.
In an article published by the Lancashire evening Post, Mr Patel said:
“Inside the building, we can’t bring it back. It’s just that bad. The only things we can save is the staircase and fireplaces. We are going to build, hopefully in the next 12 months, after we’ve been through the planning process. As part of that we will be bringing in affordable housing. “
Employees from Mr Patel’s company, Sapphire, are already on-site as part of the clean-up job of the mansion and grounds. Construction work cannot begin until approval is granted by Preston City Council’s planning department.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act of 1990
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act of 1990 states that a listed building, and specifically a Grade II listed property, cannot be altered, demolished, extended or modified without permission from the local planning authority.