A SECOND £8million office block completing Blackburn's Cathedral Quarter will not harm Blackburn's heritage, developers have claimed.

Plans have now been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council detailing the proposed six-storey building, Two Cathedral Square, which will complete the square around Lancashire’s premier Anglican church and create 300 new white-collar jobs.

Developer the Eric Wright Group, which is funding the project, has submitted a planning application for the block on the grass next to Railway Road opposite Morrisons store and the Adelphi pub.

A statement has been included as part of the application, analysing any potential negative impact on the town centre's heritage.

It reads: "The proposed development will not have any direct impact on the Grade II* listed Blackburn Cathedral, or the Grade II listed Railway Station and statue of Queen Victoria.

"The east end of the Cathedral is largely ‘blind’, with very limited windows or other openings and thus views outwards to the Boulevard and beyond.

"In theory, therefore, any development to the east can only have very limited potential to impact on the setting of the listed building.

"That would be too narrow a perspective, however, not least now that the new Clergy Court does provide open vistas looking eastwards from the ground-floor restaurant and first-floor corridor in its east range.

"The Phase 2 office block will be of the same height as the permitted and built Phase 1 block.

"The Cathedral will therefore continue to be the dominant building in all longer views to and across the town centre, from the railway approach from Preston or along Barbara Castle Way.

"The new block’s north end is sited to be level with the centre of the Cathedral’s east end, again ensuring that the new build does not seek to compete with, much less dominate, the listed


"The massing and elevations are respectful of the Cathedral, the function and purpose of which is allowed full expression by the contrast with the modern idiom of the office design.

"The phase two development completes a carefully considered overall vision for the Cathedral Quarter, and substantially enhances

the setting of the Cathedral.

"This fully includes and incorporates the Queen Victoria statue, which will now be the literal and metaphorical centrepiece of the combined precinct and public realm.

"The new block has less of a direct relationship with the railway station.

"It will have a minimal visual relationship with the Grade II listed building because of this.

"There will be no harm to the setting of the listed building.

"On the contrary, completion of the master plan in its entirety as represented by its construction will enhance the station and give it new focus as a prime gateway to Blackburn’s rejuvenated centre."

Eric Wright Group will seek potential tenants with a view to completing the building, which will take around 12 months to construct, by 2020.

The new development will offer 30,500 square feet of office space and 5,000 square feet for restaurant, cafe, bar or coffee shop use.

The design will match One Cathedral Square with a glass front looking over the square and a brown stone finished back onto Railway Road.