The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Post war listing controversy

New Government decision to be disputed.

The latest overturn by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) of English Heritage’s advice to list a major post war building further fuels the controversy over ministerial involvement in heritage decision making.

The C20 Society considers the reasons given for not listing Preston Bus Station to be unsound and will ask for a formal review.

In particular there is no previous case law shown that the Secretary of State “is entitled to take into account the way in which the building currently fulfils or fails to fulfil its functions”. The letter issued by DCMS lists this point as justification for the decision made.

The C20 Society and English Heritage have both argued forcefully that Preston Bus Station is a building of national architectural and historic interest and should therefore be listed.

C20 is convinced that the Bus Station could be imaginatively refurbished and provide a strong and practical focus for the proposed Preston Tithebarn Area Regeneration.

C20 Director Catherine Croft says: “The outstanding quality of this building is widely recognised and should certainly be acknowledged by listing. Although we believe that it has a viable future, if the local council wishes to argue that its physical condition or the requirements of the Tithe barn Area Redevelopment really are incompatible with its retention, the appropriate way of judging this would be via a listed building consent application, rather than by attempting to deny its significance as a historic building. This may sound pedantic, but it is a process that is fundamental to ensuring a fair and open decision making.”


For more information or photographs of the Preston Central Bus Station and Car Park building, please contact Christina Malathouni at the Twentieth Century Society on 020 7250 3857 or by email –

Notes for editors:

Opened in October 1969, Preston Bus Station was designed by architect and graphic designer Keith Ingham (1932-1995) for the Building Design Partnership (BDP). Among his many interests and activities Ingham served as Guild President of the North Lancashire Society of Architects in 1972 and Chairman of the RIBA North-West region in 1974-75 (Vice Chairman 1973-74). In 1976 he was elected RIBA Vice-President for Membership and Public Affairs (during Eric Lyons’s time as President), served on its Council and many committees, helped revamp the RIBA awards, and chaired the RIBA Building Industry Trust for five years.

The Society put the Preston Bus Station forward for listing at Grade II in January 2009 as a bold architectural statement and a distinctive example of a 1960s transport complex.

In their report, English Heritage (EH) duly note the increasing rarity of this building type and the regrettable loss of other transport mega-structures of the 1960s – Portsmouth’s Tricorn Centre (now demolished) and Gateshead’s Treaty Centre (within a proposed redevelopment area).