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Blackpool skyline will never be the same...

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For almost 50 years they were people’s homes, but now giant cranes are gradually reducing Blackpool’s famous tower blocks to rubble.

These images show how demolition of the first two blocks at Queens Park in Layton is progressing.

With the outer wall now gone, the interiors of what were once living rooms and kitchens have been exposed to the outside world.

Developers Lovell began dismantling Ashworth Court and Charles Court in January of this year to make way for a £22m development of new family housing.

It marks the end of an era, as the towers which originally rose to 17 storeys, are gradually dismantled.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s amazing to see the transformation going on.

“It looks different every time you go past and the technical skill required to carry out a piece by piece demolition like this is quite something.

“With building underway too, it’s an exciting time for the area.”

The high rise flats have dominated Blackpool’s skyline since the 1960s but plans to redevelop the area were put forward in 2011.

The first phase of new housing will see 92 new homes built, made up of 70 apartments and 22 houses, with 198 properties set to be built in total over the life of the 
project.

Council chiefs hope to create a stronger community by replacing the former mainly one-bedroomed properties with family homes.

The five high rise blocks contained 504 properties in total.

But they had become increasingly expensive to maintain, forcing the council to consider alternative housing solutions for the neighbourhood.

Residents were consulted before the plans went ahead, and came out in favour of the changes.

Members of the Queens Park Residents Association were involved in choosing the designs for the new development, drawn up by Condy Lofthouse Architects.

The cost of the massive housing scheme is being met by grants including £3m from the Government and £6.5m from the Decent Homes Fund, with additional money being borrowed and repaid from rents.

Tenants were given £4,700 each by the council in compensation for moving in accordance with statutory requirements, but those who wished to stay in the area have been promised they will be able to move back into one of the new properties.

The scheme also includes a community garden and landscaping.

The three remaining tower blocks, Churchill Court, Walter Robinson Court and Elizabeth Court, will be redeveloped in the second phase of the development.

 

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