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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Derelict bus station in Whitehaven on brink of collapse

Whitehaven's derelict bus station is on the brink of collapse and is set to be demolished.

Whitehaven bus depot photo
The depot at Bransty Row, Whitehaven

The Bransty Row building, along with the old garages, has fallen into such a poor state that it has now been deemed a danger to the public.

Copeland council’s planning panel are expected to approve plans to flatten it.

The owners of the station, built in the 1930s, say that the building is in a “very poor” structural condition with parts of it collapsing.

And the council’s building control manager has also stepped in saying that parts of the site are a “danger to public safety.”

He added that if the owners – Torquay-based Whitehaven Marina – were not actively seeking to manage the building, consideration would be given to issue them with a formal notice to demolish the parts which were deemed as a risk.

The news of the imminent demolition has been welcomed by people living in the area.

Peter James, of Mirehouse, said: “The building has became an eyesore and attracted pigeons and rats. I would like to think that once it gets knocked down it will be turned into a hotel or similar – something that attract people to the town.”

And Jessica Lowrey, who lives in the town centre, said she would like to see a shopping centre on the site.

“Something definitely needs to happen to that area,” said the 31-year-old. “It is the first thing that people see when they some into town from the Workington direction.

“If I was a visiting the town and that’s what I was greeted with, I would turn round and drive off. I just hope that once it gets demolished it doesn’t just sit as empty land like the old bus depot opposite it.”

Outline planning approval was given in 2009 for a scheme to develop the flattened site as 56 apartments with parking underneath but this has now run out as the three-year limit has expired.

The bus station was opened in 1931, having been built by Glaisters, a local firm of builders and masons.

Involved in the project was World War One hero Jacob Glaister, who on his discharge had returned to the family business to begin work on the station. It was only the second covered-in bus station in England at that time – the other being Workington.

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