After years of speculation and planning, the £700m Tithebarn development finally appears to have been given the green light.
Or that’s at least what the BBC’s sources are claiming.
Arif Ansari, BBC North West political editor, updated his blog at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon informing readers: “I understand that the hugely controversial Tithebarn shopping development in Preston will get the go-ahead from ministers.
“The formal announcement is expected next week but my sources tell me the £700m development has been approved.”
But Preston City Council appear to have been kept out of the loop, with a spokeperson adding: “At the moment this is media speculation and the Council has not received any official confirmation from the Department for Communities and Local Government that any decision has been made on Tithebarn.
“The Council would of course be delighted if the media reports are accurate and the Tithebarn scheme is allowed to proceed but until official confirmation is received the Council cannot make comments on what at the moment is only speculation.”
The development, which will regenerate Preston City Centre with new shops, homes, offices, revitalised markets and a new bus station, has been discussed since 2000.
An official statement on the regeneration is expected from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on November 24, and if approved the scheme would be see Preston gain John Lewis and Marks & Spencer department stores, restaurants, a cinema, office space, 400 residential units and 2,700 car park spaces across a 36-acre site.
For a timeline of both the ups and downs in the Tithebarn regeneration, see below: