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Preston Bus Station: Brake applied to £23 million plan as Conservatives make call-in request

Posted on - 17th November, 2014 - 8:03pm | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Redevelopment
Rusted curves on the Bus Station car park

Rusted curves on the Bus Station car park Pic: Tony Worrall

Proposals for Preston Bus Station to be refurbished and part of it redeveloped as a Youth Zone have hit a speed hump.

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Lancashire County Council’s £23 million redevelopment of the Bus Station and car park faces serious questions from the Conservative group.

Five county councillors have requested the proposals for the grade II listed building are called-in to be put before the Executive Scrutiny committee.

Councillors Barrie Yates, Fabian Craig Wilson, Peter Buckley, Geoff Driver and Michael Devaney triggered the call-in on Tuesday 11 November.

They say “further consideration of the total cost and how this will be funded” was their reason for putting the plans before scrutiny.

The Tory group believe there are miscalculations in the proposed repair costs for the Bus Station.

The county council has also faced criticism for citing the proposed Preston Youth Zone within the Bus Station and using the apron on the Western side of the building for new sports pitches and facilities.

Preston’s Youth MP Connor Dwyer launched a stinging criticism of the county council saying it had ignored the wishes of young people in the city and back-tracked on its plans for a purpose-built Youth Zone on Bow Lane.

Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said on the unveiling of the plans: “These proposals not only secure the bus station’s future, they represent a major investment in young people, transport and the regeneration of the city centre.

“We aim to breathe new life into the building and the space outside, making it a far more welcoming gateway to Preston.

“Much has been made of the historic place of the bus station but these proposals show how we intend to make the building a valuable part of Preston’s future.”

The proposals were approved at a meeting of the county council’s executive on Thursday 6 November, but just two weeks after being agreed they are now back for consideration.

A special meeting of a scrutiny committee takes place on Thursday 20 November at 2pm at County Hall. The committee could send the decision back to the executive if it agrees with the arguments of the Conservative councillors.

What do you think of the Bus Station proposals? Do you support the call-in? Let us know in the comments below

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