Heritage campaigners have lost their fight to get Preston’s controversial bus station listed, it has emerged.
The 20th Century Society wanted to Government to review the decision not to spare the landmark from the bulldozers.
But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has ruled that “the criteria for opening a review of the decision to not list the building have not been met”.
Today, council leader Ken Hudson told of his “delight”, while campaigners said demolishing the building would be “regretted” in the future.
Any move to list the build would have thrown yet another spanner in the works for the much-delayed Tithebarn re-development which will see a John Lewis store built on the bus station site.
Margaret Hodge, former minister for culture and tourism, personally inspected the building last year before deciding it was “not of sufficient architectural or historic interest” to warrant listing.
Coun Hudson said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the minister has looked at it, decided that Margaret Hodge had indeed made the correct decision and there was no need to give Preston any more uncertainty by re-opening the case of the listing.
“Every obstacle that people put in the way, it’s all taxpayers money down the drain. It’s just total unnecessary expense just because of a handful of people.
“It’s served its time, it needs demolishing sooner rather than later once the county council have put in a transport plan for Preston.”
Deputy leader Coun Eric Fazackerley (pictured) previously said it would “open the door to development”.
But Christina Malathouni, case worker for the 20th Century Society, said: “Although we remain convinced the building merits listing at Grade Two, 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.
“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.”
Aidan Turner Bishop from the Preston and South Ribble Civic Trust said: “Many in the future in Preston will regret the demolition of the bus station like we do now the loss of the Town Hall.
“It’s not too late to recycle the nationally famous building as part of a new shopping centre.”