BHS store Preston: Enforcement action to deter rough sleepers stalls after paperwork mix-up

The former BHS Preston store front
The former BHS Preston store front
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A paperwork mix-up has delayed action to prevent Preston's empty former BHS storefront from being used by rough sleepers.

Preston Council served the owners of the building, Freemont Ltd, with a community protection order requiring the boarding up of the store front before Monday, October 22.

But in a statement released on Thursday, they stated the Notice of Disclaimer has been sent to the wrong company and they are unable to go ahead with any enforcement.

Councillor Peter Moss, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation, said: “We are incredibly disappointed to say that we have been advised that Duff and Phelps Ltd., the liquidators appointed by the former property leaseholders, to deal with the former BHS site in Preston City Centre, have issued the Notice of Disclaimer to the wrong company.

"Unfortunately this means that we are unable to proceed with any enforcement until the matter is resolved.

"We have taken robust action to deal with this matter and are now pursuing Duff and Phelps Ltd. to correct the situation as a matter of urgency.

"Ultimately, the company that owns the building is responsible for its care and future, and we continue to be in dialogue with the them in order to achieve the most positive outcome.”

It emerged last week that part of the building could be turned into a buffet restaurant.

Spoon World Buffet has applied to create a 400-seat restaurant serving Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Sushi, Asian and British cuisine.

The applicants say the restaurant could accommodate up to 400 covers.

It is for the first floor only - at one time where the former BHS restaurant used to be.

A new entrance from Guild Hall Street is proposed.

The applicants say the current owners are considering splitting the site up into smaller units.