Call to speed up clearance of new Aldi store site in Preston

Damage caused by intruders has forced developers to call for a speed up of demolition work at the site of Preston's next new Aldi store.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:55 am

Contractors want to get cracking on pulling down the former Trident Centre on Preston's Dock Estate because the buildings are now said to be unsafe.

They have asked Preston Council to relax planning conditions on the project so they start work as soon as possible.

The buildings, which have remained empty since tenants Gold Medal Travel moved out in 2018, are due to be flattened to make way for two giant stores - one for Aldi and the other for an unnamed variety discounter.

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The Trident Centre buildings are now said to be in a dangerous state after damage by intruders.

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In the application the company says: "Due to a series of recent break-ins the property is considered to be unsafe and we would therefore be grateful if the application could be dealt with as expediently as possible please."

The council's planning committee set a number of strict conditions on the developers when it approved the project on May 3.

Apart from a number of restrictions governing demolition work to limit the impact on an adjacent Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant as well as a neighbouring gym.

Developers want to clear the site as soon as possible.

One of those was to protect established trees before any work on pulling down the buildings could begin.

But the company is keen to get started because of the state of the property which used to house Gold Medal Travel's administrative headquarters and also its call centre.

"The site has been subject to regular incursions by trespassers since the tenants vacated the property," says a report to the council.

It adds that the developer has been carrying out a "soft stripping" operation to remove any items which could potentially interest thieves.

Additional fencing has been built and tighter security measures introduced, but total demolition is the only deterrent to intruders.

Gold Medal Travel moved out four years ago to relocate to new, more modern and more eco-friendly premises off Centurion Way at Leyland.

At the time chief executive John Bevan said: "After 18 years at the Trident Centre the time is right for a new location."