A very big day for Preston Council
The City Centre Development Report to the Cabinet Meeting due to be held on 17 December is a big read but reveals some interesting facts about some Council owned properties.
The meeting is not just about decisions on the Bus Station. The Council owns a number of assets in the City Centre which are in a poor condition in particular the Market Hall and car park and Lancastria House. As the Council has very limited capital it seems from the proposal that the preferred option is to demolish them all. That’s right knock them all down. And remember, we may lose not just the car park at the Bus Station but the car park at the Market as well. I know the Council don’t really want to do this but looking at the report things appear very bleak.
From the report we learn that:
It will cost £880k to repair the outdoor market canopies.
The pyramidal roof lights over the Indoor Market are a health and safety threat due to flaking paint.
Generally the people buying food from the market are female, 65+, who come from homes of one or two adults (16+) and have either no car or one
The Council recognises that closing the indoor market would disproportionately affect poorer and more elderly sections of the community.
Lancastria House is in a poor state of repair and does not function well as modern office accommodation. It has significant problems such as poor insulation, water penetration and ineffective glazing.
The Market Hall and car park and Bus Station are in a poor state of repair, and are functionally poor buildings. Retaining them could cost in the region of £9.5m and £5.5m respectively.
Much of the equipment and plant in the Bus Station is outdated and at risk of failure. It has old obsolete fuse boards and wiring that do not comply with any British Standards or Regulations and are in bad condition.
In the past decade only essential repairs of the Bus Station have been done and there are £1.4m of backlogged repairs.
There is an option to decommission the Bus Station part but keep the car park and put the building up for sale. If this happened, on the basis of an existing survey it would cost in repairs £3.428m over the next 10 years.
An option to retain the existing Bus Station building, but more than halve the number of bus and coach stands to 32, with an adjacent 4 stand coach station.
A proposal to divide the building in half length-ways and refurbishing the eastern side of the bus concourse into a modern bus terminal.
While the Bus Station is being demolished it is likely that in the short to medium term the all bus stops would be on-street.
There is a plan to build a new Bus Station on the existing site.
Estimated costs to refurbish the Bus Station by Consultants Jacobs range from £16.47m to £23.1m.
The Bus Station demolition and lease buy outs will cost an estimated £1.8 million.
The Market Hall demolition and lease buy outs will cost an estimated £2.5 million
Detailed costings in respect of the demolition / construction periods have not been undertaken.
Should the Council dispose of the car parks, this would be an overall loss of £577k.
There are potential redundancy costs of £244k for the Bus Station and £225k for the Market.
You can look for yourself here at the Agenda for Cabinet Meeting 17 December
Blog Preston will of course keep you informed of the outcome of the meeting and report on any decisions and recommendations made.