Deepdale Enclosure Conservation Area looks set to lose its status, as council bosses discuss the future of the neighbourhood.
Residents are to be given their say on the plans, and will be able to give their views on whether the protection of the area should be cancelled.
Coun John Swindells, Preston Council’s cabinet member for planning, health and regulation, said: “Stephenson Terrace is probably the most fine example of what we wish to keep, but further down towards the prison has changed a lot over time and there is very little left of the original buildings anyway.
“So it is very difficult to conserve what’s probably not left to conserve any more.
“Stephenson Terrace is listed, so whatever happens with the conservation area, people would have to get listed building consent anyway (to make changes to the terrace).
Coun Swindells said the conservation area had initially been created with a “broad brush” approach which included a park area, which is now covered under different green space protection.
He said: “The pub has gone off the corner nearest the prison, that was knocked down some time ago - I think it virtually fell down. It’s now just a derelict site and what’s left is probably not left conserving.
“Stephenson Terrace, which is the jewel in the crown, is fully protected anyway with its listed building status.”
Coun Swindells approved the appraisal of the site for consultation, and said: “We would like to hear the public’s view on it.”
Civic expert Aidan Turner-Bishop said: “I think it’s a shame to give up a conservation area because it’s a historical triangle of land.
“If you say we’ll give up the conservation area status because everything has been trashed anyway, it’s sort of giving in. What’s the point of having conservation areas if you don’t conserve them?
“It’s not just the buildings themselves, it’s the context, and once they’re lost it sends out a signal to developers and people that don’t care that they can get away with eroding the heritage of our city.”