Preston bus station public vote-winning design is ‘drastically altered’

New bus station design

New bus station design

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ARCHITECTS have had to drastically re-draw the public’s favourite design for a £23.3m revamp of Preston Bus Station – after being warned it might not get planning permission.

County Hall has now unveiled a completely different set of drawings for the Grade II-listed terminus and new youth zone which they hope conservationists will support.

New York-based architect John Puttick, whose original design beat more than 100 others last August after a public vote, was told to re-submit a new scheme when Historic England and the 20th Century Society raised concerns.

County council leader Jennifer Mein said: “It was a bit of a surprise but the biggest reason is to make sure we get planning permission.

“It has changed due to circumstances that we hadn’t foreseen in the first place.

“Historical England and the 20th Century Society both said we would face massive planning issues if we didn’t do something about it.”

New York-based architect John Puttick’s original design for a £23.3m revamp of the Grade 2 Listed bus station and a brand new youth zone beat off more than 100 entries from around the world last August after a public vote. But when his new design was unveiled yesterday, it looked completely different – not least because the two buildings are now separate, rather than connected, to allow an uninterrupted view of the iconic terminus.

“It is a little bit of a surprise when you first see it, compared with what we thought we had chosen,” said Coun Mein. “But I am told that’s not unsual in the architectural world.

“The original design was nicknamed ‘the torpedo’ but this is more like a domino. We have worked closely with John Puttick and we think we have brought something back which is very much in keeping with what we want from the building and will actually allay the concerns of Historial England in particular.”

Mr Puttick, who will answer questions from the public at the bus station on Thursday – the first of a three-day consultation exercise by LCC – admitted he was delighted with the revised plans.

“While we have been developing the design a number of reasons came up that made a very strong case for separating the youth zone to be a free-standing building,” he explained. “It is particularly important we deal with the heritage groups which are there to protect the bus station. We have to win support from them in order for the project to proceed.”

Jerry Glover, from OnSide who will run the youth zone, added: “We are thrilled with the design – I wish it could open tomorrow. This will be a top class facility right in the heart of Preston.

“We would have walked away if the design had not been this good. What we stand for is giving young people the best and that’s what this is.”

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