Bus site could be the ticket for developers

John Fishwick & Sons bus depot at Tuer Street Golden Hill Lane in Leyland
John Fishwick & Sons bus depot at Tuer Street Golden Hill Lane in Leyland
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The former Fishwick’s bus company site is already attracting interest from housing developers.

It has been revealed that the 18,250 sq ft site, which was put on the market when the historic company stopped operating at the end of last month, is being looked at as a location for new homes and industrial usage.

Administrators of 108-year-old John Fishwick and Son Ltd, which operated on Tuer Street, off Golden Hill Lane, Leyland, are listening to potential offers for the site.

A spokesman for the administrators told the Guardian: “The freehold property is on the market for sale which has generated some interest.

“That will be ongoing at the moment.

“The bus and vehicle sale is going on an online auction which closes on December 7.”

They added: “There has been general interest from third parties who are interested in taking on the site, both from an industrial perspective and potential residential planning perspective.

“We are very early into the marketing campaign at the moment.”

Warren Bennett, deputy leader of South Ribble Council, said any planning application would have to go through the due process, but that nothing had been ruled out at this stage. He said: “Obviously what happened to Fishwick’s is disappointing and as soon as something is done the better.

“You can’t speculate on anything that doesn’t exist at the moment.

“As soon as something happens the better, we don’t want a derelict building.”

Lancashire county councillor Matthew Tomlinson, representative for Leyland Central division, said: “Clearly as a local councillor, what I wouldn’t want to see is for it to remain empty for too long.

“It’s an important part of the town centre on a busy main road.

“Personally, I would like to see it brought into use relatively quickly.

“At this stage, to say what it ought to be is a bit premature.

“I’m sure the administrators will realise their asset.

“If it can be used as a site to provide employment, all well and good.

“If it can be a small to medium-sized enterprise all well and good.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised at some stage in the future, if that site becomes housing.”

Meanwhile, the online auction of what is described as a ‘modern, well maintained bus fleet, 38-ton recovery truck and workshop equipment’, is being handlied by commercial property advisers GVA Grimley Ltd and opens on December 1.

Items for sale include numerous buses, valued at between £4,650 to £18,700 and a breakdown recovery truck valued at £28,000.

Much less valuable items for sale include fuel tanks, vehicle wash, lifts, jacks, tyres, ticketing machines and bus conductor money pouches.

Fishwick’s, green buses were synonymous with the Leyland, South Ribble and Preston areas.

The reason given for the firm’s shock closure was “significant cash flow issues”, leaving the directors with little alternative but to bring in administrators.

Some 55 jobs were involved, mainly drivers and engineers. But the vast majority are said to have found new jobs.

National transport provider Stagecoach has taken on a number of the former Fishwick’s drivers.

“As soon as something happens the better, we don’t want a derelict building.”