The Government has decided not to list Preston bus station as a significant architectural or historic interest, making way for a date to be set for a public inquiry into the £700m Tithebarn redevelopment.
The decision over the listing of the bus station, earmarked to be knocked down as part of Lend Lease's development and replaced with a new interchange, had caused the public inquiry to be delayed.
Ken Hudson, leader of Preston City Council, said: "We are delighted that common sense has prevailed and Preston bus station has not been listed. The building is an eyesore and is simply not worthy of being listed. It is too big, expensive to maintain and does not meet the needs of modern day bus passengers. At least now we can focus on securing planning permission for the Tithebarn development and proposals for a brand new bus station that is fitting for the city of Preston."
Richard Coppell, development director at Lend Lease, added: "We are pleased with the Government's decision not to list the bus station, which removes a potential obstacle from the development of the Preston Tithebarn scheme. Our focus now will be to work with the Council in order to agree our response to the call in by the Government."
Preston bus station is an 80 bay bus station built in 1969 and designed by Keith Ingham. In 2001, an application was made for the bus station to be listed, but it was rejected.
Another similar application was then made in 2009 by The Twentieth Century Society.
Following consideration by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport, the application for listed status has also been rejected.
The planning committee approved the Tithebarn application in July last year, but the scheme was called in by the Secretary of State, meaning a government inspector will decide on the proposals.
The scheme has long been contested by rival Lancashire local authorities Blackpool and Blackburn which say it is disproportionately large for the central Lancashire economy and will draw retail spend from their town centres to Preston.
Lead developer Grosvenor pulled out of the project last October leaving Lend Lease to go it alone.
The proposed scheme includes 1.5m sq ft of shopping incorporating two department stores plus 100 shops. If built, there will be a range of bars and restaurants, a nine-screen cinema, new and refurbished markets, 500 homes and 2,700 car parking spaces.
The public inquiry was due to take place in May but the decision on whether the bus station should be listed or not caused the council to request a delay of around six weeks.