Ann and Clive mark end of flats exodus

New homes at Queens Park

New homes at Queens Park

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After more than three decades of high rise living, pensioners Ann and Clive Elmer have become the last people to move out of Blackpool’s tower blocks ahead of their demolition.

The pair had lived on the 20th floor of Walter Robinson Court since 1983.

Ann and Clive Elmer are one of the last families to move in their new home on Stirling Place

Ann and Clive Elmer are one of the last families to move in their new home on Stirling Place

But now – along with cat Daisy – they have moved into a new ground floor flat built as part of the £22m redevelopment of Queens Park.

Phase one of the scheme has seen 92 homes built and work on phase two which will see 99 homes built, has started.

Demolition of the remaining three tower blocks will take place early next year, with one high rise expected to be detonated as part of the clearance of the site.

Ann, 69, and Clive, 72, were among 10 households who were the last to move out of the 504 former homes from which residents have been relocated.

Ann said: “When we first heard the plans to redevelop Queens Park, we were very upset.

“I liked living on the 20th floor and miss the view. But the new flat is lovely and comfortable.

“We wanted to stay on the estate because it is handy for all the shops and it is not a scruffy neighbourhood.”

Former bus driver Clive said: “A lot of people moved out to Bispham but it is a bus ride from there to any shops.

“It was strange seeing everyone else leave before us, but it didn’t bother us.

“In the long run I think the area will look very nice once all the development is finished, and we hope a nice community will be created and maintained.”

The first phase, which was completed by developer Lovell this summer, has seen Charles Court and Ashworth Court demolished and 59 residents have so far moved into new homes which includes flats and houses.

Work has begun to strip out the last three of the Queens Park tower blocks – Churchill Court, Walter Robinson Court and Elizabeth Court – as well as re-landscaping parts of Layton Recreation Ground.

It is due to be completed by the end of March 2018.

Lovell regional director Nigel Yates said: “Seeing residents settling into the modern, high-quality homes built through the first phase at Queens Park has been fantastic – it’s a source of huge pride for our team to be delivering a scheme which is making such a difference to the area and the lives of local people.”

Brunswick ward councillor Gary Coleman added: “It is great to see the scheme taking shape, not just for the people here now but improving the quality of life for generations to come.”

Outline planning permission for phase two was agreed in 2013, with more detailed plans to be submitted in the new year.