New use revealed for site of Preston’s old ambulance station
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Preston Bus, which owns the site at the entrance of its depot in Deepdale Road, has asked the city council for planning permission to build a local shop to serve the community. So far it has not identified who the retail tenant will be, although it is said to be a ‘blue chip’ company.
The ambulance station, built in 1964, had to be demolished due to safety concerns in 2014. Since then the site has been used as hardstanding for parking. The ambulances moved to Preston Fire Station and are now based in Lostock Hall.
The bus company is currently redeveloping its depot by knocking down old workshops and garages and building a modern headquarters which will better serve its needs as a transport hub. The plot of land where the ambulance station stood is adjacent to the entrance to the depot with access straight on to Deepdale Road.
A report to the city's planning committee says: "The proposal is for the erection of a retail convenience store to serve the existing residential properties within the immediate vicinity. The proposed unit will be small scale with a footprint of 344sqm situated on the north-eastern parcel of the bus depot site.
"The end user is not yet confirmed; however, the facility will provide generic groceries such as milk, bread, pasta, etc. and more. This facility will not compete with large supermarkets that are situated within central Preston or the other defined local centres, however it will act as an additional location close to a high proportion of residential properties that may need to top up on shopping during the week.
"The shop will not be open at unsociable hours and therefore it is considered that the proposed use would be compatible with neighbouring uses. The site’s wider use is as a bus depot, and therefore the proposal for a retail unit on the north eastern portion of the site, fronting the road, is not considered to have any greater impacts on the surrounding residents than the site’s use as a bus depot would have.
"There are a large number of houses within the local area, which need provision of facilities such as convenience retail to serve the residents. As such, this scheme is considered to assist in meeting the needs of the local area.