It took over a year for DCMS to respond to the Society that “the criteria for opening a review of the decision not to list the building [Preston Bus Station] have not been met” – and it is quite an irony that this was to be announced on April 1st!
We are of course disappointed and deeply concerned about the implicit distinction between C20 and earlier architectural heritage: would “the current functionality” of a building ever be a key factor for the assessment of a pre-C20 building, as is argued to be the case for Preston and, earlier than that, Pimlico School? Would, for example, castles or windmills ever be considered in this perspective?
Although we remain convinced the building merits Listing at grade II, our principal objective is the retention of the building as part of Preston’s cityscape and history. The Society will therefore continue fighting for the retention and re-use of Preston Bus Station and hope to convince the local Council that this is the way ahead both as regards safeguarding the architectural richness of Preston and as regards sustainable regeneration. Local support to the building has been continuously growing and a number of local architects are looking into imaginative proposals that would allow the Bus Station to become an integral part of the Tithebarn regeneration. We will remain in contact with them and hope reason and forward thinking will prevail in the local decision-making.