Questions have been raised over the sale of an ‘iconic’ council building.
The former Deepdale Day Centre, on the corner of Blackpool Road and Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, has been empty for the past five years, since activities for people with learning difficulties were moved to modern facilities.
Owner Lancashire County Council was inviting offers over £500,000 for the site, and has suggested potential uses including a pub, hotel or restaurant.
For the past 12 months, Deepdale Councillor, and former centre bus driver, Terry Cartwright, said he has been hopeful of a sale after ‘under offer’ boards were erected.
But after a prolonged silence, he now fears the 1955 structure is “being left to rot”.
He said: “The kidney-shaped building at the front is actually really lovely, but it’s being left to deteriorate.
“A few years ago we had a spate of break-ins, and until I complained to the council in the last couple of days, the grass was also left to get really long, and the whole site was messy.”
Two years ago, Lancashire County Council acknowledged that water dripping through the roof of the building had ruined walls and floors and people living near the former centre reported an intruder alarm sounding for days without being switched off.
Coun Cartwright added: “For the past year there’s been a sign up, telling everyone that it’s under offer, but nothing ever seems to progress.
“When I’ve asked the county council what’s going on, I’m told that it’s all a secret.
“But the people of this area want to know what’s happening, and they’re concerned about the future of the front building.
“Developers nowadays seem to think that it’s better just to knock these sites down and put up tin shacks in their place.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “All we can say about the former Deepdale Day Centre at this stage is that ‘negotiations are ongoing with a potential buyer’.
Land Registry records show the former day centre was bought by the county council for £600,000 in May 2008.