Plans submitted to improve Preston Bus Station
The first planning application has been submitted as part of the multi-million pound plans to improve Preston's iconic bus station and construct a new youth zone.
A planning application has been submitted by Lancashire County Council for repairs to the concrete that forms a key part of the Grade II-listed design. The application is required due the listed status of the building.
There will also be improvements to the car parking levels including new lighting, changes to the car parking areas and other related work.
The aim is to also create a home for the new Preston Youth Zone, housing a wide range of activities for young people – while preserving the building’s unique brutalist architecture.
Within the bus station itself, improvements are planned for the concourse. New outdoor public space would be created on the city centre side of the bus station, as well as changes to the road layout and better public access.
Separate planning applications for the various aspects of these plans are expected to be submitted during July and August, with consultation as part of the usual planning process.
The application will be decided on by the county council's own Development Control Committee. Subject to obtaining the necessary planning permission, it is hoped that the work could begin on site in October.
Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: "This is another important stage for our plans to improve this major transport hub and provide high quality facilities for public transport users and motorists. We're also looking to bring a new building full of high-quality services and activities for our young people.
"Our plans are a major investment in the city centre, which will also enhance the regeneration of the Markets Quarter.
"The plans are part of our Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, which is already delivering improvements to roads and public transport. This will make it easier for people to get around and bring new people into the city, which benefits the local economy."
Preston Bus Station is owned by Lancashire County Council, whose Cabinet agreed earlier this month to submit planning applications for the new Preston Youth Zone and improvements to the existing bus station.
Taking into account the aspirations of Historic England and The 20th Century Society, the plans for the freestanding youth zone will ensure a clearer view of the building, with a revised shape and separation from the bus station structure.
These latest proposals have been created by the design team, led by John Puttick Associates. His original proposal was chosen as the winner of the design competition last year.
John Puttick said: "We are delighted that the Preston Bus Station project has reached its next milestone with planning going in for concrete repair works this month. We look forward to submitting our own applications later in the summer for the refurbishment of the listed 1960s station and the design of its new neighbouring Youth Zone building.
"One of our key objectives at Preston has been to improve the civic quality of the project as a whole and we are therefore looking forward to a much improved experience for all people using these buildings."
Once completed, the new building will be operated by OnSide Youth Zones, a national charity dedicated to providing modern youth facilities.
Youth Zones aim to raise the aspirations, enhance prospects and improve health and wellbeing for young people, by providing affordable access to a wide range of programmes, services and activities including sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring.
Guy Topping, Chairman of Preston Youth Zone said: "We are delighted the project is now moving forward with the submission of the first planning application. A lot of hard work has gone into gathering the thoughts of young people, the council, project partners and local residents in order to prepare the Youth Zone’s planning application and we are now looking forward to submitting that later in the summer. The young people of Preston deserve an OnSide Youth Zone which will give them a safe and inspiring place to spend their leisure time, and we are on the road to making that dream a reality.”