Blackpool homes cash boost

Land corner of Central Drive and Rigby Road, Blackpool

Land corner of Central Drive and Rigby Road, Blackpool

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THE landscape of Blackpool will change forever next year when hundreds of new homes are built in the resort.

Regeneration chiefs are set to consider submissions from developers to construct up to 250 properties at Queens Park, Layton, and 400 houses on a site at Rigby Road and Tyldesley Road.

And the building scheme has received a major boost after it was revealed the Government has pumped £41m into council coffers towards paying off its housing debt, described by housing chiefs as an “unexpected” bonus.

And Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for housing on Blackpool Council, said: “Due to the previous actions of the government, in slashing the amount of Decent Homes funding we were expecting.

“I had been very worried about our capacity to deliver on our ambitious agenda of refurbishment and rebuilding. I am now confident that by 2015, we will not only have met, but will have exceeded those targets.

“Addressing the failed housing market in Blackpool, and providing stable and affordable homes for residents is a key policy of the new administration, and the debt settlement figure will help us deliver on this policy.”

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The cash injection has cut the total debt owed by the council to £19m, which will reduce the cost of repayments and mean the council has more cash for upgrading properties and new homes.

The settlement, which was a better than expected figure, is a final pay off from Government as part of new rules which mean from April local authorities must finance their own housing needs through rent, rather than through central grants.

The Queens Park scheme will include 50 properties for sale, with the rest for rent, but prospective builders will also have to include community facilities in the scheme.

Meanwhile, the £12m preparation of the Tyldesley site will see the demolition later this year of the infamous gasholders enabling construction “to start on a significant part of the site by the end of 2013”, according to a council report.

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