The Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday, 29th September 2003
Living for today with past glories
The latest in a string of chic urban living developments has been unveiled at one of Preston's most exclusive addresses.

The seven apartments at 22 Winckley Square, Preston City Centre, exist in a converted Grade II listed building, which used to be a convent school.

With prices ranging from 190,000 to 300,000, they are targeted at a very affluent market. The apartments were designed by Heyes and Co, built by Conlon Construction from Bamber Bridge and also included Portergate residential developers.

Architect Mark Heyes said: "I suspect people moving from a larger property wanting security and to be close to the city centre might be interested."

But these stylish apartments are far from small. Each one is individual and some feature traditional high and very ornate ceilings.

No 22 Winckley Square

Many of the original Georgian touches remain including large sash windows and wooden shutters, allowing natural light to flood into the rooms.

Large fireplaces are a focal point in many of the lounge and kitchen areas and the original wide, spindle staircases have been preserved.

There are three apartments to the front of the building, including a duplex, which overlook a green, creating the sense of detachment from nearby Fishergate.

There are also four to the rear, most of which have balconies and, although these homes are slightly smaller and more open plan, they have spectacular views of the city.

Mr Heyes said: "Each one is different, depending on the windows and the ceiling height." The development has taken around 12 months to complete since the original planning application was submitted.

Mr Heyes said: "We're being considered for a Civic Trust award by Preston and South Ribble Council Civic trust for bringing it back into residential use."

The apartments are traditional with Georgian elegance.

The bathrooms, kitchens, light fittings and door handles are all modern but complement the sash windows and ornate ceilings. Each one comes complete with a dishwasher, tumble dryer/washer, fridge and microwave, which are all discreetly concealed behind doors.

Mr Heyes said: "It's gone very well. The finished product is lovely. It's nice to see these old buildings brought back into an appropriate use. They have come full circle."

Heyes and Co's next development planned for land west of Fox Street is ready to be launched in around 10 days. This will include 59 modern apartments, which will be more affordable than the seven at Winckley Square, and with prices around 80,000.

The former Grade II listed Horrockses Mill site on New Hall Lane, which has stood derelict for years, is also to be converted into luxury apartments, moving Preston into the 21st Century.

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© The Lancashire Evening Post, September 2003