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Preston's bus station wins reprieve from the wrecking ball

The ongoing saga surrounding Preston's doomed Brutalist 1970s bus station has taken yet another twist after it emerged the building has been given a six-year reprieve.

The unusual concrete bus interchange was due to be flattened later this year as part of BDP's £650 million retail-led Tithebarn town centre regeneration project.

However, it has emerged that the developer behind the project, Grosvenor, will not crack on with its Preston plans until it has finished work on its massive Paradise Street scheme in Liverpool.

This will mean the bulldozers will not move until at least 2009 and it is understood the bus station - which was originally designed by BDP - will be spared demolition until a new facility is complete, probably in 2013.

Opposition to the proposed flattening of the bus garage has come from a number of sources, including an 84-year-old former Desert Rat soldier who vowed to lie in front of the bulldozers to save the building (AJ 18.11.05).

The news that the station will be temporarily spared has been met with a mixed reaction from the Twentieth Century Society.

Secretary to the society's North West Group, Eddy Rhead, said: 'The loss of this iconic building is very regrettable but now seemingly inevitable.

'Making matters worse, however, are the shifting deadlines, almost giving a false sense of hope that the building could be saved. It is very frustrating to see a building being demolished that is generally well liked, well used and still fit for purpose, and that no way can be found to incorporate it into the new developments.'

He added: 'The only advantage of the short-term reprieve is that perhaps some sense will prevail and Grosvenor and Preston Council realise what an asset the bus station is, both practically and architecturally, and retain it.'

by Richard Waite

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